Uncivil War of Words: Media and Politics in the Arab World

General, Journalism, Publications No Comments

uncivil-war-of-words-media-and-politics-in-the-arab-world.jpgDr. Fandy spent over two years developing this thorough study of the interaction of Arab media within the Arab world and with the West. Much of his analysis may surprise a general reader. Even if not owned by governments, most key media outlets are controlled by autocratic governments–hence, the public/private dichotomy is not as useful as it is in the West. Those who own media outlets use them to push forward their political ideas more directly than Western media do, and being a journalist in his world is very (and too) often a blood sport. The Arab media both shapes and is shaped by the historical and political context of the region. From this Fandy concludes that the media is seldom part of what Western scholars call “civil society.” The US fares poorly in Arab media, partly because it was the target of Soviet propaganda for a half century and inherited all the criticism of Western imperialism. The author suggests the US has to get out of the media business and work through cadres of local supporters if it wants to succeed. Overall, this is certainly the deepest, if not the best, of recent such work. Essential. General readers, graduate students through practitioners. To Buy The Book Read the rest…