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The Al Jazeera Phenomenon

The Al Jazeera Phenomenon

Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media

Edited by Mohamed Zayani

Fascinating critique of Al Jazeera's politics, its agenda, its programmes and its treatment of the West.
Few phenomena in the Arab world are more controversial than Al Jazeera – the satellite television news channel that, despite its brief history, has made itself known throughout the world and changed the face of a formerly parochial Arab media.

This timely collection of essays by Arab and Western scholars provides a better understanding of the network – and how it has affected the public and even foreign policies of Western governments – than any other of the few books published in English up to now.

The book provides rare insights into Al Jazeera's politics, its agenda, its programmes, its coverage of regional crises, and its treatment of the West. The authors attempt to gauge the network's impact on ordinary Arab viewers, understand its effect on an increasingly visible Arab public sphere, and map out the role it plays in regional Arab politics. The image of Al Jazeera that emerges from this book is much more complex than its depiction in Western media. It reveals the role that the network plays in shaping ideas and reconstructing Arab identities during a crucial juncture in Middle Eastern history and politics.

Mohamed Zayani is Professor of Critical Theory at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He has contributed profoundly to research on Arab media and is the editor of The Al Jazeera Phenomenon (Pluto, 2005) and Arab Satellite Television and Politics in the Middle East (ECSSR, 2004).

'A first in the field of Middle Eastern media studies ... the issue of public policy, foreign relations and the impact of the media on democracy, human rights and development remains burning' - Azza Karam
About the Contributors
Part I. Introduction
1. Al Jazeera and the Vicissitudes of the New Arab
Mediascape by Mohamed Zayani
Part II. Al Jazeera, Regional Politics and the Public Sphere
2. The Politics of Al Jazeera or the Diplomacy of Doha by Olivier Da Lage
3. Influence without Power: Al Jazeera and the Arab Public Sphere by Mohammed El Oifi
4. Al Identity Choices and the Logic of the Media by Gloria Awad
Part III. Al Jazeera Programming
5. The Opposite Direction: A Program which Changed the Face of Arab Television by Faisal Al Kasim
6. Media Brinksmanship: Al Jazeera’s The Opposite by Muhammad I. Ayish
7. Women, Development and Al Jazeera: A Balance Sheet
Part IV. Al Jazeera and Regional Crises by Naomi Sakr
8. Al Jazeera and the War in Afghanistan: A Delivery System or a Mouthpiece by Ehab Y. Bessaiso
9. Witnessing the Intifada: Al Jazeera’s Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict by Mohamed Zayani
10. Al Jazeera and American Public Diplomacy: A Dance of Intercultural (Mis-)Communication by R.S. Zaharna
Postface: Jon B. Alterman. ‘Arab Media Studies: Some Methodological Considerations
Selected Bibliography
Published by Pluto Press in Mar 2005
Paperback ISBN: 9780745323336

232 pages

135mm x 215mm