Formerly TBS Journal

ISSN: 1687-7721

Do National political systems still influence Arab media?

Print Icon Print this article

[1] The Arab Press, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1st edition 1979, 2nd edition 1987, and Arab Mass Media, Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004. The first two books used the term “Arab press” in the title, by which I intended to mean print media and broadcasting, but to avoid giving the impression that I was only talking about print media, in the third book I changed the title to “Arab Mass Media”.

[2] Noha Mellor’s book, The Making of Arab News, has devoted a chapter to taking issue with my typology, and although its author has unfortunately misunderstood many of my main points, I do not intend to devote space in this essay to correcting her errors but instead will try to summarize and reevaluate my basic approach.  For her criticisms, see chapter 3 in Noha Mellor, The Making of Arab News, New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005. At the request of a journalism class at AUC, I wrote a detailed paper correcting her misreading of my book, and I shared it with her, but I have not published it.

[3] Fred S. Siebert, Theodore Peterson and Wilbur Schramm, Four Theories of the Press, Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1963, chapters 1-4.

[4] Ibid., p. 1

[5] Readers interested in more details of the typology can consult the extended descriptions in the books.

[6] Mellor, op.cit., pp. 59, 70 misunderstands this point on ownership.

[7] Arab Mass Media, op.cit, pp.43-38 see especially table 3.1 on p.44

[8] Arab Mass Media, op.cit., pp.116-17, 170, 209-10, 243-44

[9] Interview with the UAE Information Minister

[10] Mellor, op.cit, pp. 51, 61-63, 70 includes émigré newspapers.

[11] See the special section on reality TV in the TBS print edition, vol.1, no.2, pp.7-84, especially Marwan Kraidy, “Reality Television and Politics in the Arab World”, and Marc Lynch “Reality is Not Enough”; also  Marc Lynch, Voices of the New Arab Public, New York: Columbia University Press, 2005

[12] Idem.; for details of the Bahrain story, see Transnational Broadcasting Studies, vol. 1, no.2, pp. 14-17, 33, 56-57

[13] See Kraidy and Lynch, cited in footnote 11.

[14] E.g. Habib Battah: “SMS: The Next TV Revolution”, TBS 2006, and see Lawrence Pintak and Marc Lynch in Arab Media and Society, March 2007

[15] This was a technique I had used in the 1960s when I wrote my PhD dissertation on “The Politics of Broadcasting in Germany”, and it seemed to work well enough to give me a reasonably accurate picture of the role of the media in the political process.

[16] Marc Lynch, Voices of a New Arab Public, passim., and “Reality is Not Enough” op. cit, pp.35-43

[17] Marc Lynch, “Reality Is Not Enough”, pp.29-45