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The Media in Arab Countries: From Development Theories to Cooperation Policies

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The Media in Arab Countries: From Development Theories to Cooperation Policies

Tourya Guaaybess

ISBN: 978-1-119-57979-3 January 2019 Wiley-ISTE 200 Pages

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In early research work on international communication, the countries of North Africa and the Middle East were seen as part of the “Third World”, and the media had to be at the service of development. However, this situation is changing due to the transnationalization and liberalization of the media. Indeed, since the 1990s, the entry of the South – and Arab countries in this case – into the “information society” has become the dominant creed, although the vision is still globalizing and marked by stereotypes.

Representations of these societies are closely associated with international relations and geopolitics, characterized by tensions and conflicts. However, a force has come to disrupt the traditional rules of the game: Arab audiences. Digital media, the dissemination of which has been enabled by the implementation of the “information society”, empowers them to participate fully in a media confluence. This liberation from the discourse has two major consequences: the media and journalism sector has become more strategic than ever, and action toward development must be reinvented.

Foreword ix

Introduction xi

List of Acronyms xix

Chapter 1 International Communication and Arab Countries: Studies on Media Development and Media Geopolitics 1

1.1 Communication for development in France: an imported subdiscipline? 2

1.2 Development and geopolitics: two distinct matters? 3

1.3 In the beginning: (Arab) media and development 5

1.4 Academic publications on Arab media: from scarcity to profusion 5

1.5 Arab media: from official speeches to the domination of the Anglo-American pragmatic school 10

1.6 The 2000s: renewal of research or “Al Jazeerazation” of the academic literature?  12

1.7 The uninhibited liberalization of the media 15

1.8 An interest in Arab public opinion, a rarity of work on audiences 16

1.9 Has the media and development relationship been abandoned to think-tanks in the Internet age? 17

1.10 The renewal of a field of study or journalism for the development of investigative journalism 19

Chapter 2 The Obsolescence of Classical Theories of International Communication 23

2.1 Modernization by the media or “westoxification”? 24

2.2 Development is not an exportable product 26

2.3 The dependency theory 28

2.4 Impetus for a NWICO 30

2.5 The “too sage” report of the Sages 32

Chapter 3 The Information Society or the Liberal Remodeling of Development Theories 37

3.1 A global trend: the paradigm of a more “inclusive” information society 39

3.2 Progress: an accounting measure? 41

3.3 Arab countries in the “information society” 46

3.4 Young graduates – and connected in a precarious economic context 50

3.5 The use of digital media and social networks 55

3.6 The advertising market, between certain delay and rapid growth 58

Chapter 4 In the Field: Liberalization Under the Control of Governments and Businessmen 63

4.1 Businessmen and the media in Egypt: a typology 64

4.2 Reforms and routines 68

4.3 The confluence of the media 70

Chapter 5 The “Arab Street” in the Press: a Specific Frame of the South 73

5.1 From public opinion to the “Arab street” 74

5.2 The “Arab street” in the French press: presentation of general trends 76

5.3 Original matrices and perspectives for the appreciation of the “Arab street” 82

5.4. The use of “Arab street” in the press: from the beginning to today 83

5.5 The media “spawning” of September 11, 2001 86

5.6 2011: revolutions and the Arab street 94

5.7 Conclusion: the Arab street, Arab “revolutions” and “embedded” social movements 96

Chapter 6 Geopolitics of the Arabic-speaking Media and Politics of Influence 99

6.1 Media geopolitics in the Middle East and North Africa: radio propaganda warfare 100

6.2 From the Gulf War to 9/11 as triggers for new media geopolitics 102

6.3 Paradigm shifts in cooperative action in the field of media and journalism 107

6.4 Public policies under pressure 108

Chapter 7 Cooperation and Training of Journalists in the Digital Media Era 113

7.1 “All equal in the face of innovation?” 114

7.2 Training of journalists in Arab countries 117

Chapter 8 Development Policy and Journalism: Between Standards Competition and Cooperation 121

8.1 Different visions and cooperation agencies 123

8.2 Cooperation policies “from the bottom up” 131

8.3 Media development assistance: the convergence of practices and standards 133

8.4 Concerted actions and expertise: the case of Canal France International 134

8.5 Conclusion 138

Conclusion 139

References 149

Index 171