Covering Satellite Television in the Arab and Islamic Worlds
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and the Middle East Centre, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
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Visit the new site now at

The new online-only journal will contain real-time summaries of the Arab media, resources such as major reports on the development of Arab media, and links to a variety of other interesting content.

The new online journal will cover the changing media, political and cultural landscape.

The move is recognition of the changing nature of the Arab media and social landscape.

“When TBS Journal was founded two years after the launch of Al Jazeera, satellite TV was the story. Newspapers were moribund. Internet penetration was negligible. Media deregulation was an alien concept,” Publisher and Co-Editor Lawrence Pintak writes in the first issue. “The impact of the pan-Arab satellite revolution is today felt at every level of Arab society – and in every form of media.” Read on.


TBS senior editor Lawrence Pintak kicks off TBS's sixteenth electronic issue with a report from Dubai and Doha titled Arab Media: Not Yet Utopia.

Pintak's editorial also heads up Volume 2, Number 1 of TBS's hard-copy edition, featuring a peer-reviewed article by Christian Pond on The Appeal of Sami Yusuf and the Search for Islamic Authenticity.

BREAKING NEWS : Jihadi TV Al Zawraa in Europe?

TBS Publisher Lawrence Pintak: Insurgent TV Coming to a Satellite Near You?

"A controversial TV channel that is the voice of Iraq's anti-American insurgents looks set to open another front in the propaganda war against the U.S.
The head of Al-Zawraa, which airs footage produced by the Islamic Army of Iraq, says he has finalized a deal for the channel to be distributed on three European satellites, including one seen by American viewers."

BREAKING NEWS: Why is an Iraqi insurgent channel free-to-air in Egypt?

Pintak investigates in Cairo Ignores U.S. Request to Pull Plug on Jihadi TV in Iraq

"Sunni-Shia power politics and U.S.-Egyptian relations are at the center of a dispute over a satellite television station that is the latest weapon in the arsenal of Iraq's insurgents."

OTHER NEWS : Al Jazeera English launches

Lawrence Pintak suggests the new channel is A CNN for the Developing World

"Call it the Un-CNN. Imagine the BBC devoting 24 hours to special coverage of Africa and the Middle East. Picture that and it will give you a sense of the first day of broadcasting for al-Jazeera International (AJI), the English-language cousin of the channel the Bush administration loves to hate. "

OTHER NEWS: TBS Publisher on the Lebanese Crisis and the Media

See Fog of Cable for Lawrence Pintak's analysis of US cable coverage of Lebanon:

"As someone who lives and breathes Middle East politics and media, I have had the bizarre -- and frustrating -- experience of watching the current conflict play out on U.S. cable television, and I am reminded once again why many Americans have such a limited -- and distorted -- view of the world."

To order the print edition of TBS, go to the AUC Press Site
and browse for Transnational Broadcasting Studies.

MEDIA ON THE FRONT LINES: Arab Satellite TV in Iraq

A TV journalist in Iraq reports news of former President Saddam Hussein's capture from inside his infamous 'Spider Hole' hiding place. Photo by Dana Smilie.

Paul Cochrane reviews the sectarianization and political divisions that characterize the Iraqi television landscape in his article, The Lebanonization of the Iraqi Media, while Brooke Comer and Usama Najeeb take a look at Why Iraqis Love Reality TV.

TBS senior editor Lawrence Pintak interviews Al Arabiya's executive editor Nabil Khatib about the challenges and dangers facing Arab TV correspondents and crews covering the world's deadliest war for journalists, while TBS contributing editor (and Iraq war vet) Andrew Exum interviews Brigadier General Mark T. Kimmitt about whether his recent appearance on Al Jazeera signals a new US attitude toward the channel.

Exum also talks to Major Amy Connelly, former director of the Baghdad Press Center, about the relationship between the US military and the Arabic-language media in Iraq.


Yusuf Al Qaradawi and Amr Khaled faced off over the Danish cartoon controversy.

TBS managing editor Lindsay Wise looks at fallout from the nasty fight between the two popular TV preachers Amr Khaled and Yusuf Al Qaradawi, over how Muslims should respond to the Danish cartoon controversy.

Wise also interviews Tareq Alsuwaidan, a poplar Islamic talk show host and motivational speaker, about his new job as general manager of the moderate Muslim TV channel Al Resalah.

In Fatwas and Feminism, Sharon Otterman investigates the role of women in Islamic TV programs, and how their presence may be changing traditional definitions of Islamic authority.


Sami Yusuf

The Arab world's music video clips are usually noted for their sexually provocative, scantily clad female stars, but the reality is, there's much more to music videos than sex. TBS takes a closer look at video clips that deal with religion and politics.

In the peer-reviwed article The Appeal of Sami Yusuf and the Search for Islamic Authenticity, Christian Pond discusses the rise of a popular young Muslim singer and his slick music video productions.

In The Fool Sings a Hero's Song, James R. Grippo writes about the political video clips of Shaaban Abdel Rahim, including songs with titles like "I Hate Israel" and his recent video clip, "All Out of Patience," written in response to the Danish cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad.

Censorship, Sectarianism, and Superstar

Director Laith Hajjo studies the script of Syrian soap opera Behind Bars with actresses Sulafa Ma'mar (who plays Ranim, the apprentice prostitute) and Layla Sammur (who plays Manal, the madame).

In The Thin Red Lines, Marlin Dick looks at questions of censorship in the case of popular Syrian soap opera Behind Bars, while TBS contributing editor Marwan M. Kraidy's essay, Popular Culture as a Political Barometer, evaluates Lebanese-Syrian relations as seen through the prism of hit reality TV show Superstar.

Nabil Dajani studies Lebanese television news coverage and asks whether sectarian divisions in the media are leading to the 'Re-feudalization' of the Public Sphere.


In Development and Democracy Refracted in the Satellite Lens, Stacey Philbrick Yadav recalls how Pan-Arab satellite coverage of Hurricane Katrina led to some unexpected conversations with her Arab neighbors during a recent trip to Yemen.

Habib Battah asks whether the growing phenomenon of Short Message Service (SMS) heralds The Next TV Revolution in the Middle East.


Gamal Abdel Nasser

In her essay on Gamal Abdel Nasser's 'Voice of the Arabs' radio station, Laura M. James reminds us the impact of transnational media in the Middle East started long before the launch of Al Jazeera: Whose Voice? Nasser, the Arabs, and 'Sawt al-Arab' Radio.

Back in the present, Claudia Gazzini analyzes Libyan TV and concludes the country's recent economic and diplomatic opening has yet to change its media -- or its politics.

And following Hamas' unexpected victory at the polls, Vivian Salama surveys the uncertain future of Hamas TV: Palestinian Media in Transition.



Protestors rioted over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad published in a Danish newspaper.

In The (un) Funny Pages,TBS contributing editor Andrew Exum examines the role of Arabic-language media in the Danish cartoon crisis.

TBS contributing editor Hugh Miles revives the sensitive question of the secret "Al Jazeera Memo," asking whether it makes the most sense To Publish or Not to Publish? and Issandr El Amrani predicts A Cold Welcome for Al Jazeera International in the US.

In Terrorizing the Arab Media, Al Quds Al Arabi editor Abdel Bari Atwan lambasts the state of the region's media, giving readers a peak inside the frustrations of an Arab newsroom.


In TBS's ongoing series of articles on the impact of public diplomacy broadcasting in the Arab world, Alan L. Heil, Jr. mourns America's Vanishing Voice, arguing Congress should not defund the Voice of America, and TBS senior editor Lawrence Pintak interviews Hosam El Sokkary about the BBC's plans for a new Arabic satellite TV channel in 2007. Does this mean more competition for Alhurra?


More than 500 media development professionals from dozens of countries gathered in Amman, Jordan for the first summit of the Global Forum for Media Development, a new alliance of organizations involved in media training activities around the world. The location of the gathering was significant: Jordan’s King Abdullah has pointed toward the media as evidence of civil society reforms meant to move his country on the road toward democratization. To drive that message home to the assembled media professionals, the government organized a panel discussion involving then-Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Moasher and representatives of the government-sponsored and independent press which turned into a fascinating free-for-all debate over the difference between cosmetic and structural reform. TBS senior editor Lawrence Pintak recorded the fireworks. Here is an edited transcript.



Lynch, Marc: Voices of the New Arab Public. Iraq, al-Jazeera, and Middle East Politics Today. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006. 293 pages. Hard Cover. ISBN 0-231-13448-7.
Reviewed by Carola Richter

Haenni, Patrick: L'Islam de Marché: L'Autre Révolution Conservatrice. 108 pages. Livre broché. ISBN 2-02-082931-2.
Reviewed by Issandr El Amrani

Hammond, Andrew: Pop Culture in the Arab World! ABC-CLIO, 376 pages. Hard Cover. ISBN: 1851094490.
Reviewed by Issandr El Amrani

Satellite Chronicles:

TBS continues its month-by-month record of events in the Arab and Islamic satellite world as reported in the press and by BBC Monitoring for the period December 2005 through June 2006.

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Copyright 2006 Transnational Broadcasting Studies
TBS is published by the
Adham Center for Electronic Journalism, the American University in Cairo and the Middle East Centre, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, UK