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The Myth of Media Freedom in Lebanon

Nabil Dajani critiques the perception that Lebanon enjoys one of the freest media systems in the Arab world, showing how its foundations in confessional politics and business interests prevent it from functioning as a public service, a control on power, or a voice for the voiceless.

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Report: The American University in Cairo’s Conference on Egypt and International Models of Regulation and Accountability

Egypt’s broadcast media is widely seen as unruly and in need of regulation, with the rights and responsibilities of journalists still unclear two years after the revolution. Mark Visonà reports on the recommendations of a recent conference, hosted by the American University of Cairo, on how to build a regulatory framework. The conference, “Egypt and International Models of Broadcast Regulation and Accountability,” featured guest speakers from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the United States, Tunisia, Libya, and Morocco.

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From TUNeZINE to Nhar 3la 3mmar: A Reconsideration of the Role of Bloggers in Tunisia’s Revolution

Amy Kallander delves into the world of Tunisia’s educated and upper-middle class bloggers to reveal a more nuanced picture of their role in the Tunisian revolution. Reviewing the country’s unique history of Internet activism and government censorship, she finds that their impact was not only more limited than western media accounts claimed, but in many ways, more interesting.

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Online Mobilization in Times of Conflict: A Framing-Analysis Perspective

Well before social media’s celebrated role in the uprisings of the Arab Spring, Mohamed Ben Moussa argues, the Internet was shaping collective action and political advocacy in Muslim-majority societies in important ways. Looking at Moroccan social movements’ framing of the 2009 Gaza war online, Ben Moussa details how the use of the Internet shapes their structure, boundaries and mobilization capacity.

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Revolutionary Media on a Budget: Facebook-only Social Journalism

In one of the first studies of Egypt’s Rassd News Network (RNN), Yomna Elsayed explores how this Facebook-based citizen journalism network became the most influential news source during the revolution. Placing RNN in the context of alternative media launched on social networks, she explores the reasons for its success as well as the challenges that it faces.

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Is the Egyptian Press Ready for Democracy? Evaluating Newspaper Coverage as an Indicator of Democratization

Noah Rayman performs a quantitative textual analysis of pre- and post-revolution news coverage in the Egyptian independent newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. He finds that the extent of the paper’s post-revolutionary political coverage and social engagement indicate that Egyptian society and media is progressing on the path to democratization, despite the fact that qualitative analysis paints a less optimistic picture.

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