alexa New media and the Arab revolution: citizen reporters and social activism
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Miladi N

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The development of satellite technology and the mushrooming of TV channels available, free to air, have marked a turning point in the dissemination of information and the relationship between Arab state broadcasting and Arab audiences. The recent political turmoil in the region has given more prominence to satellite TV in the viewing habits of Arab audiences and their potential impact. Al-Jazeera, which was ahead of other international broadcasters in breaking the news, has become the most influential broadcaster in which critical information about news coverage can be accessed. Reference to Facebook pages, and You-tube, which Al-Jazeera heavily relied on in reporting the raw events, marked a key turning point in unveiling the bloodiness and horror of the manner with which Arab regimes have been dealing with the political and social unrests. No wonder that Arab youth flocked to the social media networks, which fed into Satellite TV like Al-Jazeera, BBC Arabic, France 24, Al-Hiwar and other channels. Such social networks like Facebook and Twitter have become effective weapons in the ‘Cyber war’ that has been going on in various Arab countries. Mobile phones, Blogs, YouTube, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have been effectively used in mediating the live coverage of protests, and speeches, as well as police brutality in dispersing the demonstrations. Also during this Arab revolution, it has become evident that new media have been playing a key role in bringing the voices of the disengaged Tunisian youth to the attention of world media, and hence to international public opinion. The internet in this case has assumed the role of a very effective uncensored news agency from which every broadcaster and news corporations have been able to freely source newsfeeds, raw from the scene. Such developments have proven very significant in changing the rules of the game, of journalism production, and the dissemination of information in a region where governments historically keep tight control on the media and where almost no platform is available for opinions critical of the political elite

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This article was published in Journal of Arab and Muslim Media and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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