International Communication: Workshop in Amman to produce book on “Arab Media Systems”

News from Nov 07, 2019

Despite the fact that the media in the Arab world is of tremendous importance to understand social and political developments in the region, there is no recent textbook specifically on Arab media systems, neither in English nor in Arabic language. Prof. Dr. Carola Richter from Freie Universität Berlin and Dr. Claudia Kozman from the Lebanese American University in Beirut aim to fill this gap with an edited book on 18 Arab countries’ media systems. The book will be published as an Open Access format in the Global Communications book series in 2020. The country chapters are authored by well-known scholars from the MENA region, providing authentic knowledge about each media system.

Many media scholars have been observing and discussing the various kinds of transformations that the respective media systems and journalism have undergone since the uprisings in 2011. As the political unrest and spirit of change has cooled down in some countries or respectively turmoil and instability have become the new normal in others, it is time to resume the developments and draw conclusions about where the Arab media landscape stands.

In light of a diversification of media systems from plain authoritarianism to manifold types, the relevance of and need for a comparative perspective has clearly emerged. Moreover, considering the important role media often play in the political and even militarized conflicts among countries (e.g. the role of Al-Jazeera for the Qatar crisis) or within countries (e.g. Libya where media have become weapons in the hands of militias), it is important to broaden and deepen scholars' and practitioners' knowledge.

On November 1-2, 2019 the authors and editors have met for a workshop in Amman at the Jordan Media Institute to discuss the draft chapters. Moreover, an eLearning platform (www.areacore.org/ims) has been developed to support knowledge distribution on Arab media.

The project is funded by the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (www.agya.info).

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