Bullets and Bulletins
Media and Politics in the Wake of the Arab UprisingsPart of the Georgetown University, Center for International and Regional Studies, School of Foreign Service in Qatar series
Assesses the new media’s impact on the Arab world, especially in the political sphere
In 2010-2011, the Middle East witnessed unprecedented revolutionary changes that set the region on a new and uncertain course. What added significantly to the amplification of demands and grievances in Arab streets and squares was the dovetailing of an increasingly indignant population—ignited by years of economic and political marginalization—with high rates of media literacy, digital connectivity, and social media prowess. This combination of political activism and mediated communication turned popular street protests into battles over information, where authorities and activists wrestled with each other over media messages.
Bullets and Bulletins offers original insights into the role of traditional and new media in what is undoubtedly a critical period in contemporary Middle Eastern history. It takes a sobering look at the intersections between media and politics before, during, and after the Arab uprisings. Drawing on in-depth case studies from throughout the Middle East and North Africa region, the book explores how the uprisings were accompanied by profound changes in the roles of traditional and new media, and how these changing dynamics played out during the region’s uneasy transition.
‘Media in the Arab world have always been seen by government as a potentially subversive force, as the Arab Awakening was to demonstrate. We were rarely aware, however, of the real potential, even after satellite television had emerged. This book, a study of the Arab media in the widest sense, by specialists in the field, amply fills that void, capturing the excitement and political engagement that has erupted over the past five years, despite the disappointments and vicissitudes of events there.’ — George Joffé, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge
‘This collection offers a compelling challenge to communication scholarship that assumes simplistic political dynamics and mediated strategies. Collectively these chapters demonstrate critical analyses of diversity within recent Arab protests, neither unthinkingly celebrating nor cynically dismissing them, but instead considering the complexities engaged through mediated and public spaces. Thoughtful and engaging detail make this a significant contribution to political communication.’ — Karin Gwinn Wilkins, Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Suzi Mirgani is Assistant Director for Publications at the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar. She is the author of Target Markets, the editor of Art and Cultural Production in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and an independent filmmaker, telling stories from the Arab world.
Mohamed Zayani is a professor of critical theory at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University in Qatar, and author of the award-winning book Networked Publics and Digital Contention: The Politics of Everyday Life in Tunisia.