Satellite Television: A Breathing Space for Arab Youth?

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... This topic is of value because evidence that has emerged indicates that the change in pan-Arab TV being broadcast by satellite rather than terrestrially has important consequences in terms of media development and public society (Al-Asfar, 2002;Al-Shaqsi, 2000). Consequently, these changes could have influenced audience consumption (Lynch, 2006), preferences and perceptions (Ayish, 2001;Karam, 2007b;Rugh, 2004;Wessler and Adolphsen, 2008;Zayani, 2005). Whereas, as the number of newly established satellite television channels has increased that impact, the number of programmes demanded by new consumers has also grown (Sakr, 2007a). ...
... For example, it has been found that the viewing figures for local television channels, such as Al Jamahiriya TV, have dwindled during the last two decades (Al-Asfar, 2002). In contrast, the number of people who watch international television channels has rapidly grown, especially with the exponential rise of Al Jazeera TV and Al Arabiya TV (Karam, 2007b); this might lead viewers to watch more non-local TV channels. 3 Therefore, the book aims to investigate whether those who obtain news primarily through one news channel or news source are as likely to obtain more news from other sources. ...
... However, Karam (2007b) indicated that Al Arabiya TV has limited scope for criticising several Arab governments' policies such as the UAE and Gulf countries. With other new TV channels, it is part of the new media platform which has attracted Arab viewers around the world, in that way intensifying the withdrawal of Arabs from watching state-owned TV services (Lynch, 2006). ...
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... Al Jazeera has striven to position itself as a channel specialising in news articles, programmes and seminars of a political nature, in contrast to other Arabic satellite channels (Ayish, 2002;Karam, 2007a;Lahlali, 2011a). It has been argued that Al Jazeera has adopted a clear strategy and adhered to its manifesto by breaking the taboos of thought that had prevailed in the Arab media over the decades (Zayani, 2005;Zayani & Sahraoui, 2007). ...
... Al Jazeera news TV channels (Lynch, 2006;Rugh, 2004;Sakr, 2007a). In November (Karam, 2007a;Zayani, 2005;Zayani & Sahraoui, 2007). The channel was financed by 500 million riyals from the Qatari government (US$137 million), and it has also relied on advertising and viewer revenue (el-Nawawy & Iskander, 2002). ...
... State television and private stations catered to the political elite's palate for content. By contrast, Al-Jazeera programs gave young Arabs a forum to contest the traditional patriarchal authorities that have dominated the airwaves (Karam, 2007). For the first time in Arab history, Arab youth had a voice. ...
... Al-Jazeera's broadcasts ultimately reinforce the predominant model of national television institutions in the Arab world: to glorify their governments and to reinforce the raison d'être of the state of affairs (Fahmy & Johnson, 2007;Karam, 2007). Despite Al-Jazeera's self-positioning as a critical force to authoritative regimes and a "voice to the voiceless," much like other Arab state-owned media, a consistent theme that emerged in the sequences analyzed for this study center on Qatar's benevolence and accomplishments. ...
This study (a) investigates the complex set of emergent meanings from Al-Jazeera's visual narratives about itself, and (b) analyzes how Al-Jazeera's visual texts articulate a broader set of nationalist meanings concerning Qatar, its home country. Rather than a content analysis of language, visual elements are emphasized, which transcend the news story or program content. The “content” here involves not just events themselves but the metatextual meanings emerging from the images woven among programs, promotional videos, and commercial advertisements.
... A lack of freedom of the press and trust in authorities and living constantly in a depressing state often deprived of jobs and economic stability, most Arabs, particularly the youth, often seek refuge in entertainment on TV (Karam 2007) or the internet. The conditions they live in and the intentional misinformation propagated by their authorities drive them further to believe in wide-spread conspiracy theories and fake news, particularly with regard to COVID-19 (Alsudias and Rayson 2020). ...
Like other literary genres, songs can be a successful outlet for achieving certain goals. Using a qualitative and descriptive approach utilizing the stancetaking framework, this study examines the development and use of more than 50 Arabic songs as a vehicle to not only inform the public about COVID-19, but also take affective stances that connect the current distressing situation of the Arab people due to COVID-19 with past hardships and crises. These stances invoke salient sociocultural values that are understood and evaluated similarly by Arab people. Evaluating and positioning the insecurity of the pandemic against insecurities of the past activates the affects and messages of the stance, which align with the evaluations and affects of the listeners. That Arab people from different countries share similar evaluations of their insecurities and invoke similar sociocultural values in response to their dreadful situations is indicative of the co-construction of a shared Arab identity through the sociocognitive intersubjectivity of the stances that are indexed to shared repertoires, sociocultural values, and affects.
... It should be noted that Iranians did not care whether those satellite channels broadcast Persian-language programmes. People, especially youth, who usually are apt to welcome new technologies (Karam, 2007), were excited that they could watch Western programmes on TV, free of charge and not on video players; 1 those programmes were not subject to the Islamic Republic's supervision. After approximately 25 years, 100 PLSCs launched outside Iran are now broadcasting various programmes to Iranians. ...
It was around 1991 when satellite dishes were first observed on roofs in Tehran. After approximately 25 years, 100 Persian satellite channels launched outside Iran are now broadcasting various programmes for Iranians. This article will provide a short account of Iran’s media environment. The main objective of this article is to examine the developments in Persian satellite channels, which are divided into three periods. The primary features of each will be scrutinized. It will be argued that although these channels have been banned by the Iranian government, they have initiated media pluralism in Iran.
... There are also concerns regarding the heavy coverage of conflict and populist issues (Lynch, 2008) and the increasing uptake of the same socio---cultural content on satellite television (Rinnawi, 2006). Moreover, satellite media have been criticised for leaving little room for internal affairs like political reforms and development indicators (see Karam, 2007;Mellor, 2005). The effectiveness of Arab satellite news broadcasting as an agent of democratisation is therefore argued to be dependent on the development of parallel organisations and institutions of democratic politics (see Hafez, 2005). ...
... More than one in four indicated two to three hours of daily TV watching. In a prior study conducted by Karam (2007), it was reported that more than 50% of the 200 respondents to the survey reported watching television up to three hours a day on a typical school or workday. Seventeen percent watched four to six hours a day, and 7% watched more than six hours a day. ...
There is little doubt that globalization has and continues to have a significant impact on business activities worldwide. The impact of globalization was made possible mainly by advances in technological innovation including the area of global communication. Among the many regions that have been significantly impacted by globalization is the Arab world. The purpose of this paper is to provide answers to the following questions: (a) What technological innovations related to advertising and promotion are dominating the Arab world?; (b) What is the media landscape as it relates to advertising and promotion in the Arab world?; (c) What media outlets are being consumed by Arab consumers?; and (d) What are the most effective media outlets in reaching the Arab consumer? Arguments have been made that the growth of mobile phones, Internet technology, and multimedia devices such as iPods and PlayStation Portables has contributed to the trend of youth moving away from traditional media platforms such as television. While this finding has been supported in research for some regions of the world, this paper studies whether it holds true for the Arab population.
... However, the expansion of regional media in the Arab Middle East and North Africa, particularly satellite television, has loosened the US grip on the flow of information. 60 Such a development has seen large sections of the Arab public able to access both images and ideas, particularly those critical of US foreign policy and the links between US democracy promotion policy and the War on Terror. ...
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This article explores the intersection between the policy of democracy promotion and the political dynamics of change in the Arab world. Based on extensive field research, this article unpacks the resilience of Arab regimes, asking the question: has the policy of democracy promotion assisted in the maintenance of autocratic and authoritarian regimes in the Arab world? Here, it is argued that the democracy promotion policy of the George W. Bush administration has enabled autocratic and authoritarian regimes across this region to enhance their capacity for social penetration and to exploit a lack of effort to promote the idea of democracy, facilitating direct and indirect modes of repression against opposition forces that have drawn from democracy promotion funding. This has enabled these regimes to enhance the processes of elite change, co-option and imitative institution building that have been central to their resilience in the face of seemingly unavoidable challenges.
Over the last two decades, theorists and activists alike have greeted with optimism new technologies as used in journalism, like satellite television and blogs. In the Arab world, especially, these technologies have carried great expectations of allowing media-makers to circumvent repressive governments. In response to this optimistic perspective, others have noted that despite the potential offered by these new technologies, they are still shaped by political and economic structures. These scholars have shown that rather than undermining repressive states, new technologies have often been at least partially co-opted by these states (e.g., Karam 2007; Sakr 2007; Kuntsman and Stein 2011). For example, before the Arab revolts of 2011, Naomi Sakr argued that new media did not, in themselves, change the alignments of power in the Middle East; instead, “it is change caused by divisions and realignments among ruling elites that surfaces via the Arab media landscape, rather than media content that triggers political change” (Sakr 2007: 6). Indeed, even though in some contexts new media have led to an increasingly lively public sphere, “media are not primarily social actors and . . . they are no substitute for a vibrant political opposition” (Hafez 2008: 336). Even during and after the revolts of 2011, while media have certainly been tools in mobilization, prescribing a causal role to media would oversimplify the narrative.
The impact of globalization can be felt throughout the world in various ways. Among these is the opening of markets to multinational companies worldwide. One of the regions where the impact of globalization is apparent is the Middle East region, particularly the Arab region. The purpose of this article is to investigate the technological changes as they relate to media in the Arab world and the opportunities and challenges they provide to marketers, particularly in the area of advertising. The article outlines the media challenges the Arab region has faced and the opportunities technology has created for advertisers in the region. The article, using secondary data, shows that television and Internet may be the most promising media outlets for advertisers to reach the Arab population.
Over the past 10 years, there has been an exponential increase in satellite television in the Arab world, with programming ranging from music videos to news, from reality TV programs to Islamic talk shows. Concurrent with this development has been the growth of academic scholarship on understanding the relationship between Arab television and social and political transformations in the Middle East. This article provides an overview of Arab television growth, especially that of pan-Arab satellite channels such as Al-Jazeera, and of scholarship about it. Academic work that focuses on theories of media globalization and the public sphere, and that is in conversation with Western journalism and global media studies, is highlighted.
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