Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics

Product Description

Since September 11, 2001, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many television viewers in the United States have become familiar with Al Jazeera as offering an alternative take on events from that presented by mainstream U.S. media, as well as disseminating anti-American invective. Westerners have tended toward simplistic views of Arab newspapers, radio, and television, assuming that they are all under government control and that freedom of press is non-existent. William A. Rugh, a long time observer of the Arab mass media, offers a more nuanced picture of the Arab press as it relates to the political situation in the Arab world today.

Although governmental influence over the media is stronger in the Middle East than in Europe or the United States, Rugh argues that there is more diversity in the Arab media than most people in the West realize. In reality, the Arab media are coming to reflect the diversity and wide range of opinions of those within the Arab world itself. In particular, the advent of privately owned Arab satellite television in the 1990s has led to significant liberalization of the media throughout the region. Rugh concludes that a democracy of ideas and voices is slowly growing in the Arab world, and he remains guardedly optimistic about the positive role the Arab media can play in processes of democratization and nation-building.

Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics

2 comments - What do you think?   Posted by admin - April 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Categories: Dubai Books  Tags: , ,

Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics

Product Description

Since September 11, 2001, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many television viewers in the United States have become familiar with Al Jazeera as offering an alternative take on events from that presented by mainstream U.S. media, as well as disseminating anti-American invective. Westerners have tended toward simplistic views of Arab newspapers, radio, and television, assuming that they are all under government control and that freedom of press is non-existent. William A. Rugh, a long time observer of the Arab mass media, offers a more nuanced picture of the Arab press as it relates to the political situation in the Arab world today.

Although governmental influence over the media is stronger in the Middle East than in Europe or the United States, Rugh argues that there is more diversity in the Arab media than most people in the West realize. In reality, the Arab media are coming to reflect the diversity and wide range of opinions of those within the Arab world itself. In particular, the advent of privately owned Arab satellite television in the 1990s has led to significant liberalization of the media throughout the region. Rugh concludes that a democracy of ideas and voices is slowly growing in the Arab world, and he remains guardedly optimistic about the positive role the Arab media can play in processes of democratization and nation-building.

Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics

2 comments - What do you think?   Posted by admin - at 11:52 pm

Categories: Dubai Books  Tags: , , , , , ,

Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics

Product Description

Since September 11, 2001, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many television viewers in the United States have become familiar with Al Jazeera as offering an alternative take on events from that presented by mainstream U.S. media, as well as disseminating anti-American invective. Westerners have tended toward simplistic views of Arab newspapers, radio, and television, assuming that they are all under government control and that freedom of press is non-existent. William A. Rugh, a long time observer of the Arab mass media, offers a more nuanced picture of the Arab press as it relates to the political situation in the Arab world today.

Although governmental influence over the media is stronger in the Middle East than in Europe or the United States, Rugh argues that there is more diversity in the Arab media than most people in the West realize. In reality, the Arab media are coming to reflect the diversity and wide range of opinions of those within the Arab world itself. In particular, the advent of privately owned Arab satellite television in the 1990s has led to significant liberalization of the media throughout the region. Rugh concludes that a democracy of ideas and voices is slowly growing in the Arab world, and he remains guardedly optimistic about the positive role the Arab media can play in processes of democratization and nation-building.

Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics

2 comments - What do you think?   Posted by admin - at 11:52 pm

Categories: Dubai Books  Tags: , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics”

  1. The most cited author on Middle East media has issued another classic, Arab Mass Media, an update of his 1985 Arab Press, the favorite for half a generation of Middle East media scholars.

    Latter-day Rugh critics of now less-timely Arab Press will be pleased that the former UAE and Yemen ambassador has re-tooled the previous work to reflect the modern dynamic realities of mass media in the Middle East, especially transnational television, which was not around when the author wrote his first, authoritative study of Arab media.

    While broadcasters might wince at all the attention Rugh gives the elitist print media in his latest effort, he does so with a reason: to provide a context if not a contrast to the 21st Century’s boom in transnational broadcasting in the Middle East.

    Rugh is well known for his seminal taxonomies of Arab media, which many scholars feel add components to a needed unified theory of Arab mass media-some still yearn for a better model of the Arab Press that encompasses all of Rugh’s macro-media definitions yet adds a concise and cogent sociological element that would set Arab media apart from media in the rest of the world.

    The author’s well-known media functions and structures have been modified since his earlier work. He groups each of the 22 Arab countries of the Middle East into his list of functions. Some of his definitions are comfortably familiar, such as his discussion of mobilization, loyalist and diverse press types. But he has added another category, the transitional press, into which Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria are grouped. Scholars fond of citing this aspect of Rugh’s work need to study this 2004 effort-which is a completely different publication and not a new edition, in a technical sense¾to bring themselves up to date.
    Perhaps the most interesting additions is a look at the off-shore pan-Arab print media phenomenon (the so-called “Cyprus Press”), and his review of pan-Arab television since the 1990’s, which he maintains is both reflective and expansive; and which acts competitively internationally, while adhering to domestic uniformity.

    As with his previous publication, Arab Mass Media is a must-have for any academic, personal and professional library but especially for media scholars and anyone who cares or writes about Middle East Media.
    –TBS Journal
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Jad Melki says:

    I read the first four chapters of this book and threw it away. It’s a waste of time and money. William Rugh knows zilch about the mass media and his readings on media theory seem to not have gone beyond a couple of books, the most recent of them published in 1974. Don’t be fooled by his former job as U.S. ambassador to Yemen and U.A.E. It just gives a fake illusion of credibility and allows him to speak with authority about the “Arab media,” as if he has spent his life systematically studying the media in Arabic World, which incidentally includes 300+ million people of diverse political, cultural, social, religious, educational and economic backgrounds. But it seems Rugh didn’t learn that fact from his long years in two of the smallest countries in the Arabic world. So, he doesn’t hesitate to speak of Arab culture, Arab mind, Arab values and a whole panoply of baseless and uncorroborated generalizations about the “Arab media.” To be fair, he does point out to the “variations between Arab countries,” but that doesn’t stop him from making sweeping statements like “while the American journalist seems to have a passion for factual details and statistics, the Arab journalist by contrast seems to give more attention to the correct words, phrasing, and grammar…” What a useless, silly, bordering on racist statement. Not just that; the book is not based on any systematic research. After claiming that the book will focus on Arab news and commentary, he tells us that since there are no content analysis studies of “Arab media,” his generalizations will be “based primarily on the conclusions of qualified observers.” To make it worse, those observers don’t seem to exceed a handful of journalists with no formal training in media research! In addition, the book is rampant with grammatical, dictation and factual errors. Even the tables and statistics (obtained from credible resources like the UNESCO) are full of mistakes and copied incorrectly. Citations and notes are also inadequate and unprofessional. Instead of making blatant, stereotypical and useless generalizations and relying on simplistic conceptions of the media and the Arabic-speaking countries, Rugh should’ve focused on the countries he really knows and had lived in and on topics within his field of expertise.
    Rating: 1 / 5

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