1st Edition

Media and Democracy in the Middle East

Edited By Nael Jebril, Mohammed-Ali Abunajela Copyright 2024
    176 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume examines the current challenges to media freedom and democratisation in the Middle East. The book revisits the relationship between media consumption and activism in the region, providing thorough analyses on the appropriation of social media for political engagement.

    Since the outburst and spread of what was known as the ‘Arab Uprisings’ in 2010, the political and media landscapes in the Middle East region have dramatically changed. The initial hope for democratic change and governance quality improvements has faded, as several regimes in the Middle East have strengthened their repressive tactics toward voices deemed critical of governments’ practices, including journalists, bloggers, and activists. The crumbling Arab media scene has also reached an abysmal low, with little to no independence, and public perception of basic freedoms in the region has significantly dropped, as has trust in media and government institutions. This book examines current challenges to media freedom, political participation, and democratisation in the region while reassessing the dynamic relationship between media use and political engagement, amidst a complex political environment accompanied by a rapidly changing digital media landscape.

    This book’s relevance will appeal to varied audiences, such as scholars and students of journalism, communication, political science, and Middle Eastern studies. It will also prove to be an invaluable resource for organisations dedicated to the research of political communication, media freedom, and use patterns of nontraditional, or new, media.

    Introduction: The State of Media and Democracy in the MENA Region

    Nael Jebril and Mohammed-Ali Abunajela


    1. Freedom of Expression in the Post-Arab Spring Countries

    Nael Jebril and Emad Moussa


    2. The Collapse of Social Media-Based Movements and the Dilemma of Democracy in Egypt

    Mostafa Shehata


    3. Social Media and Social Change in Jordan

    Muna Al Taweel


    4. Cracking Down on Media and Democracy in Lebanon: The October 17 Uprising

    Michael Huijer


    5. Citizenship, Media, and Activism in Turkey during Gezi Park Protests

    Eylem Yanardagoglu


    6. Political Laugh on Social Media: An Analysis of Humorous Participation in Turkey

    Gülşah Başlar


    7. Cultural identity in Libyan and Yemeni Social Media Visual Art: The Expression of Transcultural Identity in Countries of Conflict

    Safea Altef


    8. Saudi Women Journalists: An Ethnographic Study Exploring their Roles and Practices in an Age of National Transformation

    Amal Almoualed


    9. Democratising the Media: Media Reform and The Future of Journalism in Egypt

    Dalia Elsheikh, Nael Jebril, and Daniel Jackson


    10. Memory as a Human Right: Palestinian Memory and Israel’s Modes of Forgetting

    Emad Moussa


    Nael Jebril is Associate Professor and Head of the Media Studies Program at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar. He previously served as a Principal Academic in Journalism and Director of the MA Media and Communication Program at Bournemouth University, UK, and as an Academic Fellow in Media and Democracy at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University, UK.

    Mohammed-Ali Abunajela works in the communication, media, and international humanitarian sectors. Previously, he served as Regional Media Manager of the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, Media and Communications Lead for the Middle East and Commonwealth Independent States at Oxfam, GB, and Communications Advisor at the BBC World Service in London. He holds a PhD degree in Media Studies from the University of Bedfordshire, UK.