Loading...

COMM323: Comparative Media Systems

Unit 7: Middle Eastern Media Systems   In this unit, you will examine media systems in the Middle East.  Attention will be given to both the overall trend of changing audience consuming habit and media market structure, as well as in-country specific cases with major country like Egypt.  This unit will also focus on regional and global influences produced through alternative content coming from media outlets like Al Jazeera.  Later in this unit, you will learn about the development of information and communication technology (ICT) in the Middle East.

Unit 7 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 16 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 7.1: 6 hours

☐    Subunit 7.1.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 7.1.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 7.1.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 7.1.5: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 7.2 : 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.2.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 7.2.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 7.3: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.3.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 7.3.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 7.4: 3 hours

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Compare and contrast academic discourse of Arab media systems. - Identify and discuss the influences that shape ICT development in Arab countries. - Identify and explain local and global influences of Al Jazeera.

7.1 Media Industries in the Middle East   7.1.1 Overview   - Reading: Slideshare: A. T. Kearny’s “Middle East Media on the Move: an Emerging Growth Industry” Link: Slideshare: A. T. Kearny’s “Middle East Media on the Move: an Emerging Growth Industry” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link and read the report.  A. T.
Kearny is a consulting firm and provides this overview of the Middle
East media industry from a business perspective.  Bear in mind that
their report primarily focuses on the business impact of media
development.  Also, please pay attention to names of countries and
cities; as we move on with our discussion in this region,
familiarity with those names might become handy.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.1.2 Film Industry   - Reading: University of Pennsylvania: Arya Abedin et al.’s “The Middle East’s Media Cities and the Global Film Industry” Link: University of Pennsylvania: Arya Abedin et al.’s “The Middle East’s Media Cities and the Global Film Industry” (HTML or PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this
article.  This report introduces the film industry in the Middle
East.  Pay special attention to film industry development in Dubai
and Egypt.  Try to reflect upon our discussion of India’s Bollywood
film industry.  How would we compare film industry in two
locations?  Try using information included in this report and
situating your analysis within the Hallin & Mancini comparative
media system models.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.1.3 Changing Audience in the Middle East   - Reading: Business Intelligence in Middle East: “Power Shifting in Middle East Media Industry, Say Experts” Link: Business Intelligence in Middle East: “Power Shifting in Middle East Media Industry, Say Experts” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this
article.  This reading provides us with an audience perspective. 
Please pay close attention to the following statement: “in 1940 news
travelled the Arab world via word-of-mouth, which was the primary
source of news for most Arabs, but by 2000 Arabs had gained access
to radios, newspapers, the Internet and as many as 60 satellite TV
channels.”  This statement describes changes to the Middle East’s
media audience within a time-span of 60 years.  How do these changes
correlate with the changing political landscape of the Middle East? 
If you continue with your analysis using the four dimensions within
the Hallin & Mancini comparative media model, would you conclude
that political parallelism and government involvement should be
considered as the primary influence when it comes to media
development in the Middle East?  

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.1.4 Changing Media Market Structure   - Reading: The National: Ben Flanagan’s “Balancing Act for Middle East Media” Link: The National: Ben Flanagan’s “Balancing Act for Middle East Media” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the article. 
This article reminds us to pay attention to the “unbalanced media
market structure.”  Ask yourself: why does the television industry
receive extra attention?  Why does new media like social media
receive relatively less attention?  

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.1.5 The Case of Egypt   - Web Media: PBS News Hour: “Social Media and Satellite TV: A One-Two Punch Against Mubarak” Link: PBS News Hour: “Social Media and Satellite TV: A One-Two Punch Against Mubarak” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch the video. 
We know how the Middle Eastern audience changed the way they consume
media; we also know that media structure in Middle Eastern countries
has exhibited somewhat unbalanced development.  How does the case of
social media and satellite TV in Egypt contribute to the current
discussion?  In other words, would you say that this explains why
the media structure in the Middle East is unbalanced?  

 Watching this video should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.2 A Different Discourse: Al Jazeera   7.2.1 Different Discourse: The Last Shepherds of the Valley   - Web Media: YouTube: Al Jazeera World’s “The Last Shepherds of the Valley” Link: YouTube: Al Jazeera World’s “The Last Shepherds of the Valley” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this Al Jazeera
documentary, which depicts the conflict between Palestinian
shepherds and the Israeli occupation.  Pay attention to the
perspective, focus, and attitude of the documentary and then compare
those with the coverage about this conflict from other sources. 
Many claim that Al Jazeera presents a different viewpoint than other
media sources.  Do you agree? Why or why not?  

 Watching this documentary should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.2.2 Influences in the Middle East and Beyond   - Reading: The New York Daily News: David Hinckley’s “The 9/11 Decade review: Al-Jazeera gives ‘9/11’ a new & balanced view with Middle East say in it” Link: The New York Daily News: David Hinckley’s The 9/11 Decade review: Al-Jazeera gives ‘9/11’ a new & balanced view with Middle East say in it” (HTML)

 Instructions: Click on the link above and read the news article
written by a staff writer with the *New York Daily News*.  Pay
attention to the discussion on balanced news coverage.  Based on
your comparison, would agree with the article?  Why or why not?  

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.3 ICT and the Middle East   7.3.1 ICT and Socio-Economic Context   - Reading: Wamda: Katherine Maher’s “Digital Freedoms: A Middle East Update” Link: Wamda: Katherine Maher’s “Digital Freedoms: A Middle East Update” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this
article.  The author, Katherine Maher, is a Policy Fellow at Access,
where she follows internet policy and digital rights in the Middle
East.  This article provides an overview of the political and social
context of major countries in the region and points out the
connection between public access to ICT and democratic movements. 
If we use the Hallin & Mancini comparative media system model to
approach the media trends in Middle Eastern countries, where would
you place the region’s technology development?  Would you say it
resonates more with local media market development (for more access
to ICT), local journalist professionalism, or both?  

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.3.2 Future Trends in ICT Development in the Middle East   - Reading: AME Info: “Educational technology revolution is transforming Middle East education sector; aligns with international standards” Link: AME Info: “Educational technology revolution is transforming Middle East education sector; aligns with international standards” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this press
release.  Use the Hallin & Mancini model for your analysis.  Since
the article particularly focuses on ICT’s impact on education
reform, what kind of prospect you would predict within each of the
four dimensions of the comparative media model?  For example, what
kind of impact do you think ICT and education reform would bring
have on journalist professionalism in Middle Eastern countries? 
What kind of influence could such changes eventually bring to
society outside of the newsroom?  

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.4 Unit 7 Discussion   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM323 Course Discussion Board” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM323 Course Discussion Board”

 Instructions: After reviewing the unit materials, please post and
respond to the following topics on the course discussion board. 
Feel free to start your own thread or respond to other students’
postings.  

-   What have been the differences between the film industry in
    Dubai and Egypt?  Try situating your analysis within the Hallin
    & Mancini comparative media system models.
-   If we use the Hallin & Mancini comparative media system model to
    approach the general trend among Middle Eastern countries, where
    would you position technology development?  Would you say it
    resonates more with local media market development (for more
    access to ICT), or local journalist professionalism?  Or both?
-   What kind of impact do you think the education reform on ICT
    access will bring to future journalist professionalism among
    Middle Eastern countries?  And what kind of influence might this
    bring to the general society outside of the news room?

Posting and responding on the discussion board should take
approximately 3 hours.