is an historic issue. After six and a half years and 13
issues, TBS will henceforth be published in two editions
-- one online, the other printed. As of mid-June 2005, the print
edition of Transnational Broadcasting Studies will be
available at bookstores and by subscription through our distributor,
the AUC Press. This hard-copy publication is the most visible
fruit of the partnership between the Adham Center at the American
University in Cairo and the Middle East Centre at St. Antony's
College, University of Oxford, which went into effect last winter
with TBS 13.
print edition and TBS's online edition overlap in content,
but their differences make each unique, and complementary.
Papers," the TBS print edition alone will provide,
along with the strongest articles from the TBS online
edition, a vehicle for formal, refereed scholarship in the field.
The first contribution to this section is anthropologist Christa
Salamandra's "Television and the Ethnographic Endeavor:
The Case of Syrian Drama." TBS's online edition
will carry abstracts
of the academic papers appearing in TBS, plus material
that cannot be accommodated within the necessarily restricted
confines of the hard-copy edition, such as conference transcripts
and book reviews.
editorial board, charged with the double-blind, peer-review
process for "Academic Papers," is headed by Walter
Armbrust, director of Oxford's Middle East Centre. Dr. Armbrust
and many of the other scholars concerned with satellite television
in the Arab and Islamic worlds who make up the editorial board
have contributed articles to this first double issue, among
them former US ambassador William A. Rugh, Jon B.
Alterman, head of the Middle East department at the Center
for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, Michael
C. Hudson, director of the Center for Contemporary Arab
Studies and the Arab Information Project at Georgetown University,
and Naomi Sakr and Tarik Sabry, both of Westminster
theme for both the online and print editions of TBS 14 -- Culture
Wars: The Arab Video Clip Controversy -- starts with Walter
Armbrust's paper on social conservatism in music videos
and includes popular Islamic preacher Amr Khaled's article
calling for an authentic cultural voice to replace that of the
"Westernized" video clip, as well as Brooke Comer's
interview with controversial video clip star Ruby, and
Patricia Kubala's paper on the new wave of music videos
that reflect the region's religious and cultural values. In
tribute to the singers who have provided so much of the grist
for this mill, TBS print edition will feature Lebanese and Egyptian
pop idols Nancy Agram and Ruby on the cover of its first issue.
by the way, is one of four graduate students (the others are
Stacey Philbrick Yadav, William Merrifield, and
Steve Tatham) to contribute strong pieces to this issue
-- a trend TBS seeks to continue by encouraging more graduate
students to submit material, be it as regular articles or for
the peer-reviewed "Academic Papers" section.
In the Gulf
Players section, S. Abdallah Schleifer revisits the leaders
among the Arab satellite channels, interviews Al Arabiya's general
manager Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, and reports on major
developments at both MBC and at Al Jazeera. Also in this section,
Jon Alterman writes about Al Jazeera's plans for a new
English-language channel, Michael Hudson analyzes the
relationship between Washington and Al Jazeera, Hugh Miles,
author of the recently published book Al Jazeera: The Inside
Story of the Arab News Channel that is Challenging the West,
writes about international attitudes towards the controversial
channel. TBS is pleased to announce Miles has signed on as a
contributing editor as of this issue.
Minds, and the Remote Control: Is American Media Diplomacy Working?
Lindsay Wise interviews Mouafac Harb, executive
vice president and news director of Alhurra, and travels to
the station's studios in Springfield, Va., to take a second
look at this flagship of US public diplomacy efforts in the
Arab World over a year after its launch. This section also includes
a swingeing critique of those efforts by William Rugh, a defense
of Alhurra by Walid Phares, as well as Jihad Fakhreddine's
take on US public diplomacy, and an analysis of the military's
failure to communicate effectively to the Arab media during
the 2003 Iraq War written by Lt. Commander Steve Tatham,
Royal Navy spokesman for military operations during the conflict.
in this bumper issue of TBS, you'll find Magda Abu-Fadil,
Joel Campagna, Humphrey Davies, Noha El-Hennawy,
Amina Khairy, Joe Khalil, Charles Levinson,
Marc Lynch, Summer Said, Maha Shahba, and
The Guardian's Brian Whitaker, all addressing
aspects of Arab and Islamic word satellite broadcasting, from
censorship to religion to marketing, as well as conference reports
and our regular Book Reviews section (edited by Ralph
D. Berenger), Hamid Ouddane's Technical Review, Resource
Documents (featuring the Egyptian Radio and Television Union's
Code of Conduct), and the Satellite Chronicles section, now
dramatically expanded thanks to the cooperation of BBC Monitoring.
TBS also is pleased to be able to reproduce the most
recent subscriber-only reports on "Credibility of Satellite
News Channels in Greater Cairo," "Credibility of Satellite
News Channels in Jordan," and "Jordan Media City Update"
from the Amman-based Arab Advisors Group, which has emerged
as an important professional resource for both the broadcasting
and telecommunications industries.
to an historic issue.
Abdallah Schleifer and Walter Armbrust
Publishers and senior editors, Transnational Broadcasting
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