Arab media: introduction


NEWSPAPERS: Newspapers in the Arab countries can be divided into three categories: those that are government-owned (together with semi-official papers such as al-Ahram in Egypt), those owned by political parties, and the “independent” press. In general, Arab governments seek to restrict what may be said in newspapers, though the degree of control varies from country to country. Besides the more obvious methods such as censorship and suppression, a number of bureaucratic and legal devices are used to restrict freedom of expression ...

... read more about the Arab press

BROADCASTING: Traditionally, TV stations have been government-owned and government-run, with content strictly controlled in terms of news and debate as well as other programmes that conform to "Islamic values". Since the 1990s, these stations have been increasingly challenged by satellite channels ...

... read more about Arab television

INTERNET: The ability of the internet to provide uncontrolled flows of information across national boundaries was viewed as an alarming development by some Arab governments. Several of them – including Saudi Arabia, Syria and Tunisia – restrict access to certain websites (though there are well-established ways of circumventing the censorship) ...

... read more about the internet in Arab countries

Articles and reports

The press in the Arab world:100 years of suppressed freedom
Historical background by Said Essoulami

Freedom House survey shows lack of press freedom in Arab world
by Mohamed Elshinnawi, Voice of America, 6 May 2008

The rise and decline of London as a pan-Arab media hub
By Najm Jarrah. Arab Media & Society, Winter 2008.

Egypt's Press: More free, still fettered
By Jeffrey Black. Arab Media & Society, Winter 2008.

Dubai: An emerging Arab media hub
By Dana El-Baltaji. Arab Media & Society, Fall 2007.

Do national political systems still influence Arab media?
By William A. Rugh. Arab Media & Society, Summer 2007

Book review: The Making of Arab News
Reviewed by Ralph Berenger. TBS Journal 14, Spring 2005.

Dilemmas of a free media for the Arabian Gulf
by S Nihal Singh, Editor, Khaleej Times, Dubai

Arab journalists struggle for press freedom
by Marco Visscher. Ode, November 2004

A new voice in the Middle East
A provisional assessment of the needs of the Iraqi media. Joint study by the Baltic Media Centre, Index on Censorship, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting and International Media Support, May-June 2003. PDF format.

Media development in post-war Iraq
Conference report, April 2003

Getting a bad press
The prospects for a free and independent press in Iraq may not be as good as they look (The Guardian, 23 June 2003).

Chaos in the Iraqi media
The United States risks losing a major opportunity to forge an open media in the Middle East. By Anthony Borden in London, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 20 June, 2003.

Prohibited media activity in Iraq
Order issued by Paul Bremer on behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003

The new Iraqi press, 2003
Details of newspapers established after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein

Islam and the British press after September 11
The events of September 11 were seen as a disaster for Muslims in Britain. But they also raised public awareness of Islam and created an opportunity for better relations between ordinary Muslims and the media.(Talk given by Brian Whitaker at a conference on Islam and the media, Central London Mosque, 20 June, 2002.)

Media representation and British Muslims
Elizabeth Poole examines the coverage of Muslims in the British press and suggests that although this is largely negative there are opportunities for more positive developments. (Dialogue magazine, April 2000.)