Olfa Lamloul, in her book entitled Al-Jazeera, Defiant and Ambiguous Mirror of the Arab World wrote, The short history of the disrespectful Arabic channel Al-Jazeera, broadcast from the emirate of Qatar,provides valuable reference points in the maze of Middle Eastern issues in the post-Cold War period.' In this presentation, we will study the emergence of the Al-Jazeera network in the Middle-East and abroad and the questions arising from such a media development.
First of all, Al-Jazeera, meaning the Island' or the peninsula' in Arabic, was launched on November 1, 1996 in one of the smallest Arab countries by its area, Qatar. The network was created by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa. Currently, the chairman of the board of the station is Sheikh Tamir Al-Thani, a member of the ruling family. Initially, Al-Jazeera only broadcasted 6 hours of airtime each day but it rapidly became a medium that could no longer be ignored. Indeed, in 1999, it became a channel transmitting around-the-clock information.
To get an idea of its importance, today, Al-Jazeera has 1,400 employees all round the world, 450 journalists of 15 different nationalities, 24 daily newsletters, 7 live broadcasting programs of debate, 15 channels and 2 websites in Arabic and English.
Tags: Al-Jazeera, Middle East media, censorship
[...] The emergence of Al Jazeera in the Middle East Introduction Olfa Lamloul, in her book entitled Al-Jazeera, Defiant and Ambiguous Mirror of the Arab World wrote, short history of the disrespectful Arabic channel Al-Jazeera, broadcast from the emirate of Qatar,provides valuable reference points in the maze of Middle Eastern issues in the post- Cold War period.' In this presentation, we will study the emergence of the Al-Jazeera network in the Middle-East and abroad and the questions arising from such a media development. [...]
[...] ( ) It makes more sense to conceive of multiple public spheres that emerge around particular issues and in various settings.' Here we will see that the new media and especially Al-Jazeera and the general context allowed the emergence of a supranational public sphere. Fandy, in his book, relates the argument of many researchers which is that “Access to information will serve to enlighten the oppressed Arab people”. For Fandy, rising importance of transnational Arab television and print media has created a public arena outside the control of states.” He also says: “While Arab polities remain largely undemocratic, structural shifts in the means of public communication and opinion formation have contributed to the emergence of a transnational Arab public sphere that increasingly shapes politics throughout the region.” Fandy, tells us about the notion of “Arab street”. [...]
[...] BUT we must bear in mind that Al-Jazeera was not the first media to express the public opinion of Pan-Arabism. Indeed, the radio La Voix des Arabes under Gamal Abdal Nasser had already undertaken it and commanded a substantial audience. Then, Al-Jazeera was able to modernize itself and use new technologies to increase its media dissemination and diversify itself. For instance, the creation of the website allowed enormous diffusion as the Internet doesn't know any frontiers. Furthermore, while newspapers have to be paid for, websites can be consulted freely. [...]
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