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Media on Media Roundup (October 20)

[Archive photo of a Saudi woman voting in the first municipal elections in December 2015. Image from Al Arabiya] [Archive photo of a Saudi woman voting in the first municipal elections in December 2015. Image from Al Arabiya]

This week, Jadaliyya's "Media on Media" roundup offers a variety of news, focusing on how agenda-driven media operate in the region. There is a visible division in media coverage of the war in Syria that belies a deep political rift. After the recent U.S. presidential debates, alternative outlets are questioning the mainstream media’s agenda with respect to the U.S.’s role in the ongoing war in Syria. Meanwhile, Russian media outlets are exploiting this division, providing a completely different version of the war, particularly in Aleppo, due to heavy state regulation.

In the meantime, Syrian refugees continue to be dehumanized for bigger political projects, even in Egypt. Also a new documentary by the New York Times sheds light on the efforts made by women in Saudi Arabia to participate in recent elections.

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

Media and Politics

'Home of Jews' video sparks outrage over Palestinian 'invasion' claim
Source: Middle East Eye
An online video released by the Israeli foreign ministry has caused a wave of criticism and ridicule amongst users, mainly for its portrayal of Palestinians as the "latest in a wave of invaders of Jewish land."

Fury over U.S. 9/11 law hits fever pitch in Saudi press
Source: The Washington Times
Saudi state-owned media outlets have reacted to the recent bill passed by U.S. Congress, which allows US citizens to sue the Kingdom over the 9/11 attacks, dredging up conspiracy theories and hostility against their ally.

سوريا القبيحة جداً في الإعلام المصري
المصدر: العربي الجديد
تتحدث هذه المقالة عن استغلال وسائل الإعلام المصرية للأزمة في سوريا لإلهاء الشعب المصري عن الحراك المدني ضد السيسي.

Iranians get lessons in US politics from Trump, Clinton and ‘House of Cards’
Source: Bloomberg
An Iranian state-owned television channel has broadcasted the U.S. presidential debate after releasing season one of the Persian-dubbed "House of Cards" show. Critics allege an agenda of reinforcing negative tropes about American politics in the minds of Iranian viewers.


Sultan al-Qassemi: Arab artists are key amid censorship
Source: Al Jazeera
Amidst high levels of censorship and oppression of the media in the region, al-Qassemi suggests that artists are capable of overcoming these hurdles by creatively expressing their thoughts on social media and through social activism.

Will screenwriters boost Egypt's literary scene?
Source: Al-Monitor     
This article looks at the newly revived “relationship between the novel and the screenplay,” with screenwriters taking widely known novels like Naguib Mahfouz’s “Afrah al-Qubbah” as a starting point for their TV series.  

اعضاء فرقة "بينك فلويد" يجتمعون لأجل فلسطين
المصدر: مدوّنة رصيف 22
تتحدث هذه المقالة عن الوقفة التضامنية للفرقة مع قارب "زيتونة" الذي قامت السلطات الإسرائيلية باعتقال روّاده، نظراً لمحاولة كسر الحصار البحري المفروض على قطاع غزة.

The New York Times leverages its news team for new documentary on historic Saudi Arabian elections
Source: IndieWire
“Ladies First: Saudi Arabia’s Female Candidates” is a new documentary filmed by the NYT crew that highlights the constant efforts made by Saudi women to break free from the guardianship system in the extremely conservative kingdom.

Freedom of Journalists/Expression

Jordan signs declaration on press freedom
Source: Zawya (Reuters)
Following the footsteps of Palestine and Tunisia, Jordan signs the declaration on press freedom amidst waves of criticism in light of the recent murder of Nahed Hattar and the critical state of Jordanian’s repressive media in recent years.

Turkey frees US journalist who fled Syria
Source: Middle East Eye
American journalist Lindsey Snell tells her story of captivity in Turkey.

106 violations against journalists, more than a dozen behind bars: JATO report
Source: Daily News Egypt
A newly released report by Journalists Against Torture Observatory (JATO) cites the violations committed against journalists and photographers in Egypt.

Media Practices

ISIS media output drops as military pressure rises, report says
Source: New York Times
There has been a noticeable decline in media produced by ISIS, according to a newly published report prepared by the ‘Combatting Terrorism Center’ at West Point, providing empirical data and analysis.

'When the media doesn't talk to Arabs, coverage of them is negative'
Source: 972 Mag
New research finds a direct correlation between negative media coverage of Arab society in Israel and the exclusion of Arab voices and interviewees in that coverage.

How a presidential debate moderator distorted Syrian reality
Source: MintPress News
After recent U.S. presidential debates, MintPress News questions mainstream media’s agenda with regards to aggravating a tense international schism, due to thedebate moderator uncritical questions regarding the United States’ role in the war.

Russian, western media offer different images of Aleppo
Source: Associated Press
Russian media outlets are covering the war on Aleppo in ways vastly contradictory to the U.S.’s line of coverage; a look at how state-controlled media creates a completely alternative narrative that is not copacetic with the reality on the ground.

Pixels of war: Photographing the siege in eastern Ghouta
Source: Syria Deeply
Mohamed Abdullah (AKA Artino) describes his time as a war photographer, wanted by the regime, in besieged Eastern Ghouta.

From Jadaliyya Media Roundups

Amazigh women take center stage at Boston Film Festival
Source: Jadaliyya Maghreb Media Roundup
Boston’s Amazigh community celebrated the eighth annual Amazigh Film Festival, where two films showcased Amazigh women in music and weaving.

Journalist and social media activist arrested after writing critical letter to Minister of Interior about torture suffered in 2011
Source: Jadaliyya Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup
Faisal Hayyat was detained in 2011 for eighty-four days and suffered physical and psychological torture.

السعودية ترفع الحظر عن الصحافة الإسرائيلية
المصدر: Jadaliyya Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup
كشف الإعلام العبري عن رفع الحظر والرقابة المفروضين على دخول السعوديين الى المواقع الإخبارية الإسرائيلية وذلك بعض حظر دام سنوات.

[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]

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