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Culture & Society

Building Narratives: A Study of Terrorism Framing by Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya TV Networks

Using framing theory and content analysis, Saeed Abdullah & Mokhtar Elareshi investigate how Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya TV networks cover terrorism. This paper focuses on how the two networks differ or are similar in covering terrorism and identifies factors that may influence each network’s news selection processes and the framing of terrorism stories. This work represents an initial effort to expand research on terrorism coverage by pan-Arab media.

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Digital Activism: Efficacies and Burdens of Social Media for Civic Activism

In a comprehensive study of social media usage among social movement organizations in Lebanon, Jad Melki and Sarah Mallat investigate the efficacy of digital technology as a tool for activism. The authors find that while social media platforms offer a number of perceived benefits to activism work, there remain significant obstacles that manifest both on and offline.

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Mubarak Framed! Humor and Political Activism before and during the Egyptian Revolution

In an entertaining and insightful read, Deepa Anagondahalli and Sahar Khamis delve into the world of Egyptian political humor, unpacking its historical roots and reflecting on its evolution from private banter to public resistance. Focusing on Mubarak’s presidency and subsequent ouster, the authors identify a stark shift from long narrative jokes, to the biting “weaponized” one-liners that emerged in his final days. Humor, they conclude, is a paradoxical yet powerful tool for activism, which despite more recent crackdowns has proven to be a relatively safe platform for dissent.

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Navigating the Ethics of Citizen Video: The Case of a Sexual Assault in Egypt

Using video of a sexual assault in Tahrir Square as a case study, Madeleine Bair discusses the ethical and logistical considerations of citizen video as a means for social documentation. Bair points to the emergent challenges including reliability, consent, preservation and security, as citizen videos are sourced with increasing regularity by both new and traditional media. The Egyptian video, which sparked national change and international outrage, is a striking example of how citizen video can both shine light on an issue and stir controversy.

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‘Zii`!’ (Broadcast It!): Local Manifestations of the Global in the Egyptian Television Show Al Camera Al Khafeya (Hidden Camera)

“Any work that I do depends on the will of the audience.” (Ibrahim Nasr, Akhbar al-Nuguum, 433, 1/20/2001) Introduction Over the past few years, a growing trend in television is the seeming willingness to push the envelope of so-called “good taste.” While this is not a new phenomenon, we are …

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Whose Reality is Real? Ethical Reality TV Trend Offers ‘Culturally Authentic’ Alternative to Western Formats

Islamists have been some of the most ardent foes of reality programs on Arab television, forcing MBC’s Al Ra’is (Big Brother) off the air and staging protests or boycotts against LBC’s Star Academy and Al Wadi (The Farm). But now it seems at least some Islamists have decided to adopt a different approach: If you can’t …

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