Follow Us

Follow on Twitter    Follow on Facebook    YouTube Channel    Vimeo Channel    Tumblr    SoundCloud Channel    iPhone App    iPhone App

Media On Media Roundup (July)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on media and communication in the Middle East and North Africa and reflects a wide variety of opinions.]

The month of July has seen a great deal of media-related discussion. News of the ​coup attempt in Turkey and its fallout, the release of ​Pokemon GO, ​celebrations of Ramadan and ​the Syrian civil war have all been topics of significant debate and deliberation throughout the month.

This month's roundup features some compelling pieces with subjects ranging from an insightful discussion about the differences between Egyptian and Colombian comic books and the implications of the Chilcot report to a look at the most notable works of beloved Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami who passed away recently.

All of these stories, and more, are available below in further detail.

Media and Politics

One story, many faces: How Egypt’s political TV is shaping public opinion
Source: Mada Masr
This articles argues that the state of freedom in Egyptian media has been declining, especially after the 2011 revolution, going on to further explain the relationship between various media outlets and the government. 

Turkey blocks access to WikiLeaks after ruling party email dump
Source: Reuters
Reuters reports on the response by Turkish authorities to block access to WikiLeaks, which recently released 300,000 emails seized from the Turkish government. 


Wary Mideast states warn of Pokemon GO security dangers
Source: Reuters
Middle East states are uncomfortable with the idea of their citizens roaming, catching Pokémon and potentially taking pictures of forbidden sites, according to Reuters. 

Jewish, Palestinian activists try to build a cinema in Hebron
Source: +972
Israeli activists were arrested for working with Palestinians to build a would-be cinema in Hebron. This article notes that the police only arrested citizens, rather than tourists, in order to “avoid the unsavory image of Israeli authorities arresting diaspora Jews.” 

Devoted readers save the burned Kurdish books of Diyarbakir
Source: Middle East Eye
Following an attack on Avesta, Turkey’s first and largest Kurdish book publisher, in which thousands of books were burnt, readers have responded on social media by purchasing every ruined book as an act of solidarity. 

From Egypt to Colombia: On the content of comics
Source: Mada Masr
A first-hand account of the motivations that drive comic book writers and illustrators Lina Moreno and Sara Ahmed Abdel Aziz. Abdel Aziz, an Egyptian, posits that the country’s comics tradition tends to focus on social issues, while Moreno argues that Colombian comics focus on the individual. 

Shot by refugees… Exodus, the shocking documentary that puts you on the sinking ship
Source: The Guardian
Providing an in-depth review of the documentary, which was entirely shot by refugees, this article guides the reader through the hardships Syrians undergo while on the trip from Turkey to Greece. 

Why don’t Arabs read?
Source: Al-Fanar Media
In response to a problematic article published in The Economist contending that Arabs don’t read, this article attempts to examine the social dynamics and industry issues that elaborate on reading practices in the Arab world.

Why you should know Abbas Kiarostami--and his 6 most legendary films
Source: Vox
A guide through some of the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s influential films in world cinema.

برنامج عن محمود درويش على إذاعة الجيش الإسرائيلي يغضب ليبرمان

مصدر: France24
محمود درويش، احد اهم الشعراء العرب و رمز للقضية الفلسطينية وارتبطت شهرته لفترة طويلة بحركة المقاومة الفلسطينية ضد إسرائيل.  وزير الدفاع أفيغدور ليبرمان استدعى مدير إذاعة الجيش يورام ديكيل للتنديد ببث الإذاعة برنامجا عن الشاعر الفلسطيني الراحل. 

How ‘Egypt’s Jon Stewart’ went from public enemy to TV star
Source: Rolling Stone
A timeline through Bassem Youssef’s career as an online sensation and satirist. The article traces, how he is facing exile for openly criticizing the Egyptian government actions and the way protesters in Tahrir square were being portrayed, as well as his new TV show making fun (learning from) the American democratic way.

What’s lost when we photograph life instead of experiencing it?
Source: The Conversation
With online content becoming more ‘visual’ with photos and videos, this article comments on the obsessive levels of snapping that millennials have reached, revolving the events of their lives around the practice of taking the ‘right’ photo and sharing it to their peers. The impact of such actions are studied both on the social and the personal level. 

Is that a Pokémon in your frying pan?
Source: Mada Masr
It’s still early days for Nintendo’s new augmented-reality video game Pokémon GO, and it may only be out in select markets but that hasn’t kept it from reaching the Arab world. This article offers the experiences of some of the users in the region playing the groundbreaking game. 

Media Industries 

Full highlights of World Press Trends 2016 survey
Source: World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
The study offers insights and information on trends in the press media industry and addresses the patterns of press moving from paper to digital.

Has Egypt lost its status as star of Arab film industry?
Source: Al-Monitor
Al-Monitor investigates how Egyptian production companies have been struggling with growing debts, particularly as actors’ salaries are increasing despite lagging revenues.

New comers, not refugees
Source: Qantara
This article tells the story of how “Abwab,” the first Arabic newspaper for refugees in Germany, is serving as a platform for expression and connection between refugees while helping them integrate in their host communities.

Netanyahu's battle against public broadcasting
Source: Al-Monitor
This article argues that Benjamin Netanyahu’s positions as Israel’s prime minister and minister of communications represent a conflict of interest, and claims that Netanyahu is intent on suppressing public broadcasting for as long as he leads the country. 

سياسة الصور واليمن: سلاح وقات وكره النساء
المصدر: رصيف22
نظرة عن قرب على ممارسات وسائل الاعلام عن كيفية تمثيل دولة اليمن، في ظل الازمة الحاصلة هناك. 

Social Media

How Ramadan was celebrated around the world on Twitter
Source: Twitter Blog site
A report by Twitter examining how people used the social media platform to commemorate the holy month, noting the institutional partnerships and common practices that informed individual users.

In political fight over Chilcot Report, Iraqi lives don’t matter
Source: The Intercept
The Intercept examines how the online reaction to Britain’s role in the Iraq invasion, as detailed by the recently released Chilcot Report, has largely consisted of attacks on political opponents rather than focusing on the lives affected by the war. 

Chilcot report evokes angry war memories in Middle East
Source: BBC News
How did social media users in the Middle East respond to the report's release? Commentators in Middle East media have responded angrily to the findings of the Chilcot inquiry that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was premature and based on flawed assessments.

Turkey appears to be in vanguard of 'throttling' social media after attacks
Source: Reuters
Reuters reports on Turkish authorities’ alarming employment of an increasingly common tactic in the midst of political instability: limiting access to social media via a technique labeled ‘throttling’.

Coup bid in Turkey carried live on social media despite blockages
Source: Reuters
This article comments on the “irony” of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan resorting to social media to rally the people despite criticizing it on a regular basis and actually restricting it on the day of the coup. 

الحياة مابعد الموت على الإنترنت: أين ستذهب تركتك الرقمية؟
المصدر: مدونة حبر
نظرة مقربة على الملكية الفكرية ل "البصمة الالكترونية" والمحتوى الرقمي بعد ممات المستخدم.

ISIS using Whatsapp and Telegram to sell sex slaves
Source: The Independent
Yazidi women and girls as young as twelve are being advertised for sale as sex slaves by ISIS fighters on the instant messenger apps Whatsapp and Telegram. This article shows how drastic the situation is for Yazidi minorities, who are being constantly oppressed and killed according to numbers and figures presented.

Campaign seizes on Pokémon Go craze to draw attention to Syrian conflict
Source: The Guardian
An online campaign has been launched to capture the attention of Pokémon GO users and divert it towards Syrian children in need. The Guardian offers comparisons of reactions to the campaign and the game itself across the world. 

Global media campaign plans to flood Twitter on July 31
Source: AJ+
Al-Jazeera’s online video platform has posted a video calling on activists to flood Twitter with the hashtag #Anger_For_Aleppo on July 31st. The video features graphic footage from the besieged city and includes a viewer warning at the beginning.

Freedom of Press/Expression 

Update: TV host Liliane Daoud deported to Beirut
Source: Mada Masr
Popular Lebanese TV host Liliane Daoud was arrested from her home in Cairo and taken to an undisclosed location before being put on an EgyptAir flight to Beirut.

Reporting Syria: 'There's a direct threat for everyone'
Source: Al Jazeera
Attempts to silence Syrian journalists and activists continue unabated by the regime and armed rebel groups. The death of Syrian citizen journalist Khaled al-Essa has raised further questions about the risks facing journalists and media activists covering the conflict in Syria.

Report: 2016 Most Dangerous Year Ever for Afghan Journalists
Source: Afghan Journalists Safety Committee
The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee has released a report showing that 2016 has been one of the most dangerous years to be a journalist in Afghanistan, with death tolls among journalists on the rise and fewer women in the field.

Turkey asks Kosovo to punish journalist over coup comments
Source: Reuters
This article appears to be proof that Turkey’s crackdown on press freedom does not end at their borders. Reuters shares quotes from leading Kosovan journalist Berat Buzhala who was stunned to hear that Turkish authorities had asked Kosovo to punish him for satirical comments made online about the coup attempt.

Algeria: TV executives jailed
Source: Human Rights Watch
Two executives from a privately-owned Algerian television station have been arrested and placed in pretrial detention for apparent irregularities with their permits. This article claims that they have been detained because of the satirical political talk show they air.

How Erdogan became Turkey’s biggest media boss
Source: Al-Monitor
Al-Monitor argues that a ferocious onslaught on critical media over the past year has left President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Turkey’s biggest media boss.

Journalists risk imprisonment for running smartphone app training in Morocco
Source: Amnesty International - USA
Seven journalists and activists that are on trial in Morocco for training citizen journalists could set a dangerous precedent for restricting freedom of expression.

Post, share, arrest: Israel targeting Palestinian protesters on Facebook
Source: The Intercept
This article cites the series of incidents that happened to Souhaib Zahda as an example of the increasingly problematic practice of Israeli soldiers using Facebook to track down and arrest ‘dissidents’ under the accusation of ‘inciting violence’.

Unified or dictated? New constraints on Friday sermons anger imams
Source: Mada Masr
Following on Egypt’s Endowment Ministry’s announcement that it will begin distributing identical sermons around the country, This article comments on the measure that many feel is stifling and includes quotes from imams criticizing the decision and dismissing it as politically motivated. 

Egypt's Islamic scholars reject government-issued Friday sermons
Source: The Guardian
In a bid to combat extremism, Egyptian authorities have taken steps to issue standardized sermons. This piece examines the backlash this measure has received, including quotes from religious scholars who argue that such a method would have the opposite effect as it would no longer allow imams to interpret and discuss holy texts. 

Middle Eastern LGBT magazine looking at ‘risky’ expansion into Arabic
Source: Egypt Independent
The Jordan-based webzine is under rising pressure, especially after plans to expand into publishing Arabic content. This article aims to highlight the process by which the webzine aims to achieve this, in the conservative society of the Middle East. 

Media Practices 

New Al-Jazeera Digital Division Chief on how Facebook, Google, control news (EXCLUSIVE)
Source: Yahoo TV
An interview with AJ+ executive on the success of the new digital platform that is currently reshaping the way media is made and distributed.

Survey finds 'Generation Y' Saudis switching off
Source: Digital Production ME
Nearly ten per cent of Saudi Arabia's Generation Y (those born between 1981 and 1994) don't watch TV at all, while fifty-one per cent don't listen to the radio, according to a new report from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Captive British journalist John Cantlie features in new Islamic State video report in Iraq
Source: South China Morning Post - Washington Post
A new propaganda video by the ISIS, shows British hostage John Cantlie discussing the U.S-led coalition’s bombing in Mosul. This article further analyzes the video by reading into its content, locations, and the way Cantlie is performing, while putting it into a broader context of ISIS media operations.

Ten Years After the Lebanon War: The Photos That Moved Them Most
Source: TIME
In memory of the 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel, photographers recall how covering the events first hand was, and how it compares against other wars they have been to. This piece is an homage to war photography and how it affects those involved.

Saudi Arabia’s PR Machine Uses the 28 Pages to Blame Iran for 9/11 Attacks
Source: The Intercept
Following the U.S. government’s decision to release a twenty-eight page congressional report of possible ties between Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 hijackers, the Intercept has listed and dissected examples of the Saudi PR machine at work, dismissing and denying all claims of such connection to the attacks.

If the Turkish press cannot criticise Erdoğan, then foreign media must speak out
Source: The Independent
Amid all the confusion in the local Turkish media outlets during the first few hours of the failed coup, this article argues that foreign media have the obligation and responsibility to criticize the government and simply ignore all restrictions applied on domestic outlets. 

The West loves IS propaganda. We should listen to Syria’s real journalists instead
Source: Middle East Eye
Sensational media and gory pictures gain the attention of western media audiences, foreshadowing the real images of Syrians and what is really occurring on the ground, besides beheadings and fanatic fundamentalist practices.

Flashpoint's new research illuminates jihadists' digital toolbox
Source: Flashpoint
This article offers an in-depth view on how ISIS was utilizing digital tools to propage its message across the dark web and open social media alike. Apparently, they are big fans of VPNs, encrypted IMs, and GPS fakers.

[The "Media On Media Roundup" is an initiative to survey published material in the news and broadcast media that deals with journalism, coverage, or mass communication practices about the region. These roundups are produced and curated in collaboration with the American University of Beirut's Media Studies Program. The items collected here do not reflect the views of Jadaliyya or the editors of the Media Page. You may send your comments or recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to] 

Latest posts in Politics:

If you prefer, email your comments to




Apply for an ASI Internship now!


Political Economy Project

Issues a

Call for Letters of Interest


Jadaliyya Launches its

Political Economy




F O R    T H E    C L A S S R O O M 

Roundtable: Harold Wolpe’s Intellectual Agenda and Writing on Palestine


The 1967 Defeat and the Conditions of the Now: A Roundtable


E N G A G E M E N T