These are unprecedented times. The world as a whole has not experienced crises of the scale and magnitude that we are currently seeing. Perhaps the heightened feelings of fear and aggravation in the face of these crises, and the realization of their consequences, has stemmed in part from the spread of digital media. We are in a new age of information and individual knowledge acquisition, and in this climate, the handling of crises takes on new dimensions where public perceptions shift and evolve; influenced by time, space, and the content consumed.
How crises are dealt with is changing demographically and psychologically, reflective of a dialectical situation of knowledge accumulation, and conscious and unconscious interaction with different forms of media. This shift is related to media treatment frameworks for crisis situations and public reception. This often has little to do with the actual severity of the crisis, and more to do with interconnected intermediary variables that lead the audience to react strongly to specific types of crises in one part of the world, while being habituated to these same type of events in another.
Arab Media & Society has devoted this 25th edition to discussing the nature and evolution of the relationship between crisis media and the realities on the ground. The studies included in this volume vary in focus in an attempt to map the knowledge of the events discussed and the strengths, limitations, and role of media in crisis situations. It is a comprehensive guide to develop a deeper understanding of an important and current topic.
The journal has made an effort to ensure its themes align with current events, to engage our audiences in reasoned and scholarly debate on issues that matter today. By doing this, we hope Arab Media & Society can act as a research arm and positive influence toward a more stable and peaceful future.