The Arab Media – A conference organised by LMEI at SOAS, and supported by the MBI Al Jaber Foundation.
The media in the Arab world is now thought to be of great significance to politics and politicians, as attested to by their efforts to influence the news agenda. Governments, both regional and extra-regional, political parties and organisations, and influential commercial interests vie with one another, through the Arab media, to reach audiences. Editors, producers, journalists and other media professionals are not just tools in the hands of those who own or control media outlets, but themselves contribute to the shaping and implementation of news agendas. The Arab media, in sum, is increasingly an arena of contest between various governmental and non-governmental forces. Surprisingly, remarkably little effort has been made to identify the key players in this field, their methods and the outcomes of their activity.
The objectives of this one-day conference are to seek some preliminary answers to the following questions: who sets the Arab news agenda, how do they do it, and what are the consequences of their actions, especially in relation to Arab politics.
The conference will offer selective case studies through which broader issues and trends can be illustrated. Every effort will be made to ensure that different interests and viewpoints are represented on the panels. The panels themselves will combine presentations of information and analysis relevant to the topic, as well as interactive debate. Participants will include media professionals and analysts, as well as representatives of interested parties engaged directly with the Arab media.
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