This week, Jadaliyya`s "Media on Media" roundup offers a variety of news and opinions on the way the media have been operating in the region.
Why is the truth on Syria so difficult to decipher? International media have become a playing field for the war in Syria, with each outlet pushing a preferred narrative that is reflective of the convoluted conflict on the ground. On the other hand, the battle of Mosul has been gaining so much media coverage that it is somehow exaggerating the facts on the ground.
Meanwhile, the Syrian regime continues its "tourism" campaign using state-media to advance an image of the war-torn country that is glamorous and worry-free.
A recently held Pulitzer Center panel discussed the challenges of reporting in the Middle East, although no panelists of Middle Eastern descent were featured in the talk.
ABC network recently collaborated with Marvel comics to publish ‘Madaya Mom’, a comic book that aims to shed light on the difficulties of living in the besieged Syrian city of Madaya, where food and aid rarely enter.
All of these stories and more are available below in further detail.
Media and Politics
The many "truths" on Syria: How our rivalry has destroyed a country
This article argues that international media have become a playing field for the war in Syria, with each outlet pushing a preferred narrative that is reflective of the convoluted conflict on the ground.
Is it ‘open season’ on Muslims, as Fatima Manji suggests?
Source: The Guardian
A panel of Muslim journalists, working in Western mainstream media, respond to a recent article by Kelvin MacKenzie which not only vilifies Muslims, but also questions their right to do their jobs.
El-Sisi in the media
Source: The Politic
Taking a closer look at American media’s representation of Egyptian President El-Sisi, this article compares right and left leaning outlets’ portrayal of the president, while maintaining American media’s failure to hold the Egyptian president to account.
Arab media wary of US election, no matter who wins
Source: Jerusalem Post
This article provides a useful overview of the different reactions by Arab media outlets to the US presidential elections, in light of the latest debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The other Bob Dylan
Source: Al Jazeera
Ali Saad asserts that Bob Dylan’s selective social justice attitude is problematic due to his position as a supporter of Israel. The writer examines an Arab media source which glossed over Dylan’s selectiveness to social justice causes as well as a number of outlets which portrayed him more critically.
Syrian regime promotes another image of the war-torn country
The Syrian regime’s efforts to promote a glamorous image of the war-torn country continue in online media campaigns.
Arab women YouTubers get exclusive platform in new ‘Batala’ channel
Source: Al Arabiya
With the rise of female-to-female viewership in the Arab world, “Batala," heroine in Arabic, is a newly launched YouTube channel which showcases female vloggers, their talents, and their creative content.
The write stuff: Al Jazeera`s Mostefa Souag
Source: Arabian Business
The article highlights Al Jazeera’s role in promoting high standards of professional journalism and broadcasting in the region, while responding to accusations of being biased and directly managed by the state of Qatar.
Freedom of Journalists/Expression
Why is Facebook targeting Palestinian accounts again?
Source: Al Jazeera
Palestinian activists continue with their activism, defying the continued cooperation between the Facebook platform and Israeli government in what they describe as "digital dictatorship."
Rights groups call on Oman`s Sultan to end ‘media crackdown`
Source: Middle East Online
This article aims to shed light on the pressures exerted on Sultan Qaboss of Oman, once known for being a moderate leader, after a recent crackdown on the media which caused major waves of resistance and criticism.
Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 16
This roundup provides a brief summary on the state of Turkish media in light of the crackdown by the state.
Through her lens
Source: My Republica
A consideration of the way Saudi women are being represented in mainstream media.
Chronicling desperate journeys
Source: The News International
The article follows Pulitzer Prize winner Muhammed Muheisen as he recalls his experience photographing Syrian refugees on their journey of finding asylum.
Read this new comic from Marvel, celebrating the beautiful heroism of a Syrian mother
This article highlights the comic book medium’s role in bringing the story of Madaya to life. Since journalists are rarely permitted inside the long-besieged town of Madaya, this graphic medium has been the vehicle through which true stories of hardship and bravery have been told.
The anguish and anger on Gaza’s walls
Source: Electronic Intifada
Gaza artists are taking it to the walls to express their anger and frustration in hopes of sending a political message to "energize the people."
Social media shows the brutal reality for Iraqi citizens is a far different life to ours
Iraqi and IS fighters are taking selfies and using social media on the front lines. This article cites a number of tweets that highlight the exchange of images between warring factions.
Life in the digital shadow of the Syrian war
Source: Open Canada
This article follows a Syrian activist to Canada, where her ‘digital past’ is still haunting her as she attempts to integrate with society.
Victory over ISIS will stream live on Facebook. But defeat won’t
Pete Preston provides a contemporary understanding on the mode that propaganda is operating in modern warfare, with Facebook live streaming the battlefield while still ‘taking control’ of how that stream is politicized and weaponized.
Reporting in the Middle East
Source: Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
"Reporting the Middle East," a panel organized by the Pulitzer Center, brings a unique set of logistical and cultural challenges on covering the Middle East, without taking into consideration anyone "local" who has done so from that perspective.
The Media’s Imaginary Veiling of Women in MENA
Source: Fair Observer
The article argues how western media represents women from the MENA as a monolithic oppressed group that is forced to live in restricted conditions, to continue talking about feminist activism in light of the "Arab Spring."
Debunking the Western Media’s Coverage of the War on Syria
Source: Axis of Logic
Daniel Espinosa seven main leading points to argue against mainstream Western media’s narrative on the Syrian civil war.
Compare the coverage of Mosul and East Aleppo and it tells you a lot about the propaganda we consume
Source: The Independent
This article is arguing that even when two large Sunni Arab urban centers–-East Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq – are being besieged by pro-government forces strongly supported by foreign airpower, the media coverage differs on multiple levels.
The power of comics journalism
Source: The Economist (Blog post)
In 2010, Sarah Glidden travelled to the Middle East to report on the refugee crisis with the Seattle Globalist, this blog post highlights how comics can encapsulate what traditional media tend to disregard.
Western journalists build careers in Palestine - and then leave us in the dust
Source: Middle East Eye
This article takes aim at careerist usage of the Palestine/Israel conflict by journalists.
الإعلام العربي.. بين الحرية والمسؤولية
تعلّق هذه المقالة على لوم وسائل الإعلام العربية لكل ما يحصل من ويلات في المنطقة، وتعود لتبرر هذا الموقف على ان السبب يعود لكون الاعلام مبني على اساس "التعبئة".
معركة الموصل.. ضجيج الإعلام أعلى من غبار القتال
هذه المقالة تقول ان الضجيج الاعلامي حول معركة استرداد الموصل مبالغ بها وأن ممارسات التغطية لها حيثياتها السياسية الخاصة.
From Jadaliyya Media Roundups
Should Bob Dylan Be Seen As Embracing Israeli War Crimes?
Source: Jadaliyya Palestine Media Roundup
The singer may have had connections with the Jewish Defense League, and his lyrics may offer insights into his sympathies for Israel.
Report reveals continuing violations of Egyptian press freedoms
Source: Jadaliyya Egypt Media Roundup
The Journalists Against Torture Observatory recorded a total of 106 violations of press freedoms in the third quarter of 2016. The Ministry of Interior is named as the most frequent offender, and was directly responsible for thirty-six of the incidents.
[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.]