Issue No. 4
Spring 2000
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Civil Society in the Arab World: The Role of Transnational Broadcasting

Satellite Broadcasting and Civil Society in the Middle East: The Role of Nilesat

by Hussein Amin

Accelerating changes throughout the Middle East compel us to envision the possible transformations that may take place in the future in this region. These possibilities include changes in areas such as electoral politics, democracy, professional associations, civil society, human rights, pluralism, accountability, privatization and others--truly sweeping changes that could have profound effects on the peoples, cultures, and ways of life in the Middle East. Already some leaders and governments throughout the region are showing signs of steady liberalization, modernization, and democratization. continued

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From a talk presented at the Columbia Forum on the Middle East Media "Opening Channels: Television and Society in the Middle East" Columbia University, New York, February 19-23, 2000

The Age of New Media: The Role of Al-Jazeera Satellite TV in Developing Aspects of Civil Society in Qatar

By Ali al-Hail

In 1995 censorship of the domestic press in Qatar was formally lifted. Since then, the press has been essentially free. Liberating the press from governmental interference, and permitting freedom of speech and public opinion through the media, especially radio and TV, have paved the road for a healthy civil society. Most notable of all was the unprecedented political initiative of founding the most popular Arabic language news and informational satellite channel al-Jazeera which went on air in 1997. It is the only independent satellite television news of its kind in the Arab world. continued

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Extracted from a paper presented at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Arab-US Association for Communication Educators “Communication for the 21st Century: Building a Civil Society.” Beirut, October 26-29, 1999

Copyright 2000 Transnational Broadcasting Studies
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