Letter from the Publisher
glancing at our slightly altered masthead will note, with this
issue TBS re-launches as a journal exclusively concerned
with satellite television broadcasting in the Arab and Islamic
this is simply recognition of what has become an increasingly
de facto situation-not only has our coverage of other regions
never approached the comprehensiveness of our reports, interviews,
analysis, and research studies of satellite television broadcasting
to and from the Arab world, but our most avid readers are all
drawn to TBS precisely because of this focus.
Mernissi, the Moroccan scholar whose books address the issues
of Islam, women, and democracy, responded when we wrote asking
for permission to print the previously unpublished full version
of her essay "The Satellite, the
Prince and Sheherazade".
would be more than happy to have you publish my 'Satellite and
the Prince' piece in TBS; you could easily guess from my heavy
quoting of your website that I do consider you one of the most
avant-garde information sources on the Arab media revolution."
his appointment to our editorial advisory board, Jon Alterman,
director of the Middle East Department at the Center for Strategic
and International Studies, said:
is truly unique. It thoroughly dominates its niche. It has no
serious competition and is essential and required reading for
anyone interested in satellite TV broadcasting to the Arab world."
our coverage of the Arab world in particular has been cited
in numerous on-line encyclopedic regional websites as well as
by specialized journals such as the Arab Information Project
at the Center for Contemporary Arabic Studies at Georgetown
University. Dr. John Anderson, then director of AIP (and at
present chairman of the Anthropology Department at The Catholic
University, Washington DC) wrote:
any scholar interested in the new Arab media, the coverage of
Arab satellite broadcasting provided by TBS is of extraordinary
value and greatly welcome."
reason for the relaunch is that the field of satellite TV broadcasting
in the Arab world has reached such density that the field demands
even more attention than TBS has managed to provide in the past.
According to the Arab Advisors Group's comprehensive report
on "Satellite TV in the Arab World "distributed to
subscribers in October 2003,* there were then more than ninety
satellite channels broadcasting in and to the Arab world; by
now the number is well over one hundred, with new channels launching
nearly every month.
included the Islamic world (non Arabic-speaking countries with
predominant or at least large Muslim populations), firstly because
of geographical overlap. Thus, programming for the Indian sub-continent
offered by such Pay TV platforms in the Arab World as Showtime
and ADD (which includes the Star network) is also promoted to
the millions of expats from the subcontinent working in Saudi
Arabia and the Gulf emirates. In addition, there are at least
two Pakistani broadcasters - one a network of entertainment
channels and the other a predominantly news channel-transmitting
to both the Gulf and the subcontinent from Dubai.
also pleased to note the presence in this issue of two contributions
from individuals working in Arab satellite TV broadcasting.
I refer to the articles "The Future
of Al Jazeera" by Wadah Khanfar, the managing director
of Al Jazeera, and "Us and Them, the
Demise of the Union of World Journalists" by Dana Suyyagh,
a senior producer for Al-Arabiya. Since TBS is to an important
degree a professional journal read by professionals in the broadcasting
industry, we shall encourage more members of that industry to
write for us. But TBS is also very much a necessary reference
publication for academicsfor teachers and scholars in
such fields as Middle East and Islamic World studies as well
as for mass communication and media studies. In recognition
of this special relationship, TBS will resume in forthcoming
issues its peer-reviewed Academic Papers section, in which scholarly
research will be published. We feel particularly obligated to
provide this service in the light of the honor granted TBS by
the International Division of the Broadcasting Educators Association
of being a BEA official publication.
be an interesting year as TBS sharpens its focus and reaffirms
its relationship with academic studies. As they say on air,
stay with us.
information about the Arab Advisors Group's study "Satellite
TV in the Arab World" go to www.arabadvisors.com