Skip to main content

Home/ Media in Middle East & North Africa/ Group items tagged media

Rss Feed Group items tagged

Ed Webb

Saudi filmmakers build audiences without cinemas - The Washington Post - 0 views

  • By using the internet to show films, Telfaz11 and other Saudi production houses have managed to circumvent traditional distribution channels and make do without cinemas. Even so, Saudi filmmakers have to contend with how to tell their stories within the bounds of the kingdom’s ultraconservative mores and its limits on free speech.
  • The emergence of a Saudi film scene is happening as the kingdom begins to loosen the reins on fun and entertainment after nearly two decades without cinemas or concerts.
  • The government has also backed a Saudi film festival that’s taken place for the past few years in the eastern city of Dhahran. This year, some 60 Saudi films were screened.
Ed Webb

Egyptian intelligence services extend control over media | RSF - 0 views

  • Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is worried about the way Egyptian media outlets are being taken over by businessmen linked to the government and intelligence services. The regime’s domination of the media continues to grow and is even affecting pro-government media.
  • Al Hayat was quietly taken over at the end of August.


    The new owner’s identity has not yet been officially announced but several Egyptian media outlets have reported that it was acquired by Falcon, a successful Egyptian security company whose CEO is a former senior military intelligence officer and a former head of the radio and TV regulatory agency.

  • the financial pressure came shortly after Al Wafd’s representatives in parliament expressed their opposition to the government’s controversial plan to hand over two strategic islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • A former military intelligence officer, who was also an armed forces spokesman, took charge of Al Asema TV in January.
  • ONTV, a popular TV channel that supported the government while occasionally broadcasting critical comments, was taken over in May 2016 by Ahmed Abu Hashima, a powerful multi-millionaire steel magnate said to be close to military intelligence and to President Abdel- Fattah al-Sisi.

    A month after the acquisition, the authorities expelled Liliane Daoud, a well-known ONTV programme presenter with a reputation for journalistic integrity. She was deportable because she has British and Lebanese dual nationality.

  • Hashima bought two other TV channels, Al Nahar and CBC, and four newspapers, Sout Al Omma, Ain, Dot Masr and Al Youm al Sabea, in 2016.
  • the editor had told that that “President Sisi is the newspaper’s new owner” and that it could therefore not continue to employ critical journalists
  • the government’s influence over the broadcast media landscape was also significantly enhanced in 2016 by the creation of a DMC, a major new TV network with a range of news, sports and entertainment channels.

    Dubbed “the mouthpiece of the intelligence services” by some journalists and launched with a patriotic anthem and Koranic chants, DMC gets permission to film where other privately-owned TV channels are denied access. It is also known to broadcast interviews that are presented as exclusives but just reiterate the regime’s pro-security, anti-Muslim Brotherhood dogma

Ed Webb

Prison for dabbing: Saudi entertainer locked up for 'inciting drug abuse' | Middle East... - 0 views

  • The move is officially banned by the Saudi Interior Ministry’s National Drug Control Commission, which consider the move to be a reference to cannabis consumption.
  • “the move is a well-known move…known to represent smoking hashish which leads to addiction.”

    He added that there was “no doubt” that anyone taking part in the move would be subject to questioning and punishment.

    The move could warrant a prison sentence, a fine or both.

Ed Webb

Qatar's Gulf Allies Have Had Enough of Doha's Broken Promises - 0 views

  • Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states woke up on Monday morning to what is the most severe crisis in the regional block’s 38 year history to date. In a closely coordinated series of statements, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, along with Egypt, announced the severing of ties with the peninsular state of Qatar.
  • In what may be the most debilitating move, Qatar’s border with Saudi Arabia—which is its only land border —has been shut and all flights over Saudi and UAE airspace has been closed off to Qatar bound flights and Qatar Airways. Qatari citizens have been given two weeks to leave Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE and all travel by these countries citizens to Qatar is now prohibited.
  • It is likely that this time the Gulf States will demand the complete shuttering of the Al Jazeera TV Network before any mediation can take place. Additionally, the plug will have to be pulled on networks funded by Qatar such as Al Araby Al Jadeed (The New Arab), originally set up to compete with Al Jazeera and headed by former Arab Israeli politician Azmi Bishara.
  • ...4 more annotations...
  • Other Qatar backed networks that were accused of incitement on official Gulf TV channels include Al Quds Al Arabi (Arab Jerusalem) newspaper which was founded in London in 1989, online Arabic news portal Arabi 21, the London based website Middle East Eye, the Arabic version of Huffington Post which is headed by former Al Jazeera boss Waddah Khanfar and Al Khaleej Al Jadeed (the New Gulf).
  • will also demand the expulsion of all Muslim Brotherhood leaders and their Hamas affiliate figures from Qatar, along with Azmi Bishara and Islamist writer Yasser Al-Za'atra. Other demands will include the sacking of Al Arab newspaper editor Abdullah Al Athba
  • It seems though the initial pressure has already somewhat worked on Qatar. Last week Doha deported Saudi activist Mohammed Al-Otaibi who arrived in Qatar in March, while a number of Hamas officials have left Qatar at the country’s request.
  • Qatar imports over 90 percent of its food, and by one estimate about 40 percent of that comes from the its only land border, which is now closed. Within hours photos started circulating on social media of Qatari supermarket aisles that have been emptied by panicked shoppers. Furthermore Gulf media has hinted at an escalation of the dispute with Qatari commercial and trade ties being severed next.

Ed Webb

Omani authorities block access to online magazine "Mowatin" - IFEX - 0 views

  • Launched in June 2013, Mowatin is an independent Omani magazine that covers a variety of topics in Oman and the Arabian Gulf including politics, human rights and the economy. In January 2016, the magazine announced a suspension of its activities due to "circumstances beyond its control", in particular its desire to "guarantee the safety" of its journalists and writers. The magazine's journalists were subjected to pressures and harassment from Omani authorities, in particular the Internal Security Services (ISS), the country's national security intelligence agency.

    In a video published on 25 April, the magazine announced that it would resume publishing from London, on 3 May on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. However, hours after resuming publication, the magazine and human rights groups reported that the website was blocked inside Oman.
Ed Webb

How to survive gaslighting: when manipulation erases your reality | Science | The Guardian - 0 views

  • What’s happening on a national level is activating and retraumatizing a lot of people who have been gaslighted in the past. The crazy-making, mind-bending, massive confusion-inducing effects of our current administration’s recklessness with the truth and disregard for verifiable facts is creating an emotional and psychological whiplash. It’s affecting people who have been subjected to abusive relationships; people who feel emotionally vulnerable and it seems to stoke a nearly unprecedented rage in those of us who can see it and feel powerless to do anything to combat it. When people in the mainstream media are being discredited, how exactly are you supposed to call this out?
  • Being defiant does not make you difficult. It makes you resilient.
  • the person gaslighting will never be able to respond to logic and reason – and so you have to be the one to recognize that logic and reason can’t be applied.
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • things will never make sense
  • Detaching from the gaslighting does not mean total detachment. It means distinguishing between the world of the gaslighter and the real world.

  • often people are willing to give up their reality in favor of hanging on to a relationship rather than rupturing it
  • write down what actually happened
  • having to verify reality is in itself destabilizing
Ed Webb

I Went To Turkey To Interview The President And (Almost) All I Got Was A Meeting With A... - 0 views

  • Erdogan rarely makes himself available to the media — especially for foreign reporters who are freer than Turkish journalists to criticize his government. So when Adam Sharon, a Washington-based public relations executive, contacted me and several other reporters last month and offered interviews with Erdogan and other top Turkish officials, it held out a chance, however remote, for American reporters to assess face-to-face whether top Turkish officials had any evidence for their claims about Gulen.

    If the goal of the trip was to convince reporters that the Turkish government’s case against Gulen was based on facts, rather than innuendo and conspiracy theories, it backfired spectacularly.

  • Gokcek said he gets his information from the Internet. “I have the largest intelligence service in the world: Google,” the mayor said. “You can find anything in Google. In Turkey, I am the person who uses Google the best way … I would like to thank Google.”
Ed Webb

Donald Trump's Media Attacks Should Be Viewed as Brilliant | Time.com - 0 views

  • the central idea of journalism — the conviction, as my old boss Peter Kann once said, “that facts are facts; that they are ascertainable through honest, open-minded and diligent reporting; that truth is attainable by laying fact upon fact, much like the construction of a cathedral; and that truth is not merely in the eye of the beholder.”
  • the responsibility to separate truth from falsehood, which is never more important than when powerful people insist that falsehoods are truths, or that there is no such thing as truth to begin with
  • a period in which the executive branch of government is engaged in a systematic effort to create a climate of opinion against the news business
  • ...17 more annotations...
  • Ideologically, the president is trying to depose so-called mainstream media in favor of the media he likes — Breitbart News and the rest. Another way of making this point is to say that he’s trying to substitute news for propaganda, information for boosterism.
  • “Many people say” is what’s known as an argumentum ad populum. If we were a nation of logicians, we would dismiss the argument as dumb.

    We are not a nation of logicians.

  • The president is responding to a claim of fact not by denying the fact, but by denying the claim that facts are supposed to have on an argument
  • This is a version of Thrasymachus’s argument in Plato’s Republic that justice is the advantage of the stronger and that injustice “if it is on a large enough scale, is stronger, freer, and more masterly than justice.”
  • Truth is what you can get away with.
  • The interesting conversation concerns how we come to accept those lies.
  • If a public figure tells a whopping lie once in his life, it’ll haunt him into his grave. If he lies morning, noon and night, it will become almost impossible to remember any one particular lie. Outrage will fall victim to its own ubiquity. It’s the same truth contained in Stalin’s famous remark that the death of one man is a tragedy but the death of a million is a statistic.
  • Some people became desensitized by the never-ending assaults on what was once quaintly known as “human decency.” Others seemed to positively admire the comments as refreshing examples of personal authenticity and political incorrectness.
  • Here’s a simple truth about a politics of dishonesty, insult and scandal: It’s entertaining. Politics as we’ve had it for most of my life has, with just a few exceptions, been distant and dull.
  • it’s exhilarating. Haven’t all of us noticed that everything feels speeded up, more vivid, more intense and consequential? One of the benefits of an alternative-facts administration is that fiction can take you anywhere.
  • we adopt new metrics of judgment, in which politics becomes more about perceptions than performance—of how a given action is perceived as being perceived. If a reporter for the New York Times says that Trump’s press conference probably plays well in Peoria, then that increases the chances that it will play well in Peoria.
  • explanation becomes rationalization, which in turn becomes justification
  • anxiety and anger are their own justifications these days
  • In his 1953 masterpiece, “The Captive Mind,” the Polish poet and dissident Czeslaw Milosz analyzed the psychological and intellectual pathways through which some of his former colleagues in Poland’s post-war Communist regime allowed themselves to be converted into ardent Stalinists. In none of the cases that Milosz analyzed was coercion the main reason for the conversion.

    They wanted to believe. They were willing to adapt. They thought they could do more good from the inside. They convinced themselves that their former principles didn’t fit with the march of history, or that to hold fast to one’s beliefs was a sign of priggishness and pig-headedness. They felt that to reject the new order of things was to relegate themselves to irrelevance and oblivion. They mocked their former friends who refused to join the new order as morally vain reactionaries. They convinced themselves that, brutal and capricious as Stalinism might be, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the exploitative capitalism of the West.

  • I fear we are witnessing a similar process unfold among many conservative intellectuals on the right. It has been stunning to watch a movement that once believed in the benefits of free trade and free enterprise merrily give itself over to a champion of protectionism whose economic instincts recall the corporatism of 1930s Italy or 1950s Argentina. It is no less stunning to watch people once mocked Obama for being too soft on Russia suddenly discover the virtues of Trump’s “pragmatism” on the subject.
  • George Orwell wrote, “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”
  • Not to look around, or beyond, or away from the facts, but to look straight at them, to recognize and call them for what they are, nothing more or less. To see things as they are before we re-interpret them into what we’d like them to be. To believe in an epistemology that can distinguish between truth and falsity, facts and opinions, evidence and wishes. To defend habits of mind and institutions of society, above all a free press, which preserve that epistemology. To hold fast to a set of intellectual standards and moral convictions that won’t waver amid changes of political fashion or tides of unfavorable opinion. To speak the truth irrespective of what it means for our popularity or influence.
  •  
    Helpful in thinking about how people adapt to authoritarian regimes and societies, or don't
Ed Webb

What's behind calls to close Shiite media outlets in Egypt? - 0 views

  • In October 2016, lawyer Samir Sabri filed a lawsuit before the Second Circuit of the Administrative Judiciary Court, demanding that Shiite media outlets and websites be shut down in Egypt
  • “It is unacceptable and unreasonable to have a media platform in Egypt promoting Shiite ideology. Egypt is an Islamic state and the main source of legislation is Sharia under the constitution, which recognizes Christianity and Judaism to be monotheistic. El-Nafis is one of the news websites inciting against Saudi Arabia, Al-Azhar and the Ministry of Awqaf, where Ahmad Rasem al-Nafis attacks in his articles the Sunnis and Saudi Arabia and calls for professing the Shiite faith.”
  • “The Salafist leaders’ Wahhabism was behind the dissemination of extremism in Syria and Yemen. Shiite channels and websites in Egypt do not advocate extremism or renounce any ideology or doctrine. They call for dealing with the Shiites as Muslims at a time when Salafist movements claim that Shiites are non-Muslims.”
  • ...6 more annotations...
  • “Shiite channels have been operating for years and have not caused strife or crises that Salafist channels ignite. This is because Shiite channels do not incite to violence and bloodshed and do not declare others to be infidels.”
  • Human rights activist and lawyer at the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Ahmed Ezzat, told Deutsche Welle in 2012 that the law does not criminalize embracing or promoting the Shiite faith. Shutting down any Shiite channel or prosecuting any promoter of the Shiite ideology would be based on a broad application of the law against blasphemy of religions, he said.
  • “The legal criteria in shutting down any station would be based on its content and on whether or not it is viewed as blasphemy or incitement against any religion or belief."
  • “some Salafist channels, such as al-Hafez and al-Nas, were shut down in 2013.”
  • “What is happening is a part of the chaotic media and religious discourse. There are 121 religious channels broadcasting via Nilesat, including more than 60 Shiite channels, some of which explain Shiite ideas in a moderate way," he said. "Others are extremist and incite against the Sunni sect. Sunni channels respond also to such incitement with counterincitement. Thus, all extremist channels — be they Shiite or Sunni — need to be taken down.”
  • many Shiite channels are not at loggerheads with the state institutions, but rather with some Salafist parties.
Ed Webb

In Translation: Egyptian minister, the worst job in the world - The Arabist - 0 views

  • For weeks, the Egyptian press has reported that prospective ministers are turning down offers to join the cabinet led by Prime Minister Ismail Sherif
  • under Sisi, most if not all key decisions are made in the presidency. A kind of shadow government run by intelligence officers holds the real files. And the president – as seen in the long-postponed decision to devalue the currency – waits until the very last moment to make vital decisions, wasting time, public confidence and opportunity in the process
  • The various lobbies (big business, civil society groups, political parties etc.) that would normally influence policy under the Mubarak era have no way in. Decisions are made in mysterious ways. Ministers have little leeway to implement their own vision and see no coherent plan coming from the top
  • ...4 more annotations...
  • things are changing fast and people are fed up
  • A person who refuses to play the role of extra at the ministerial level — not knowing why they brought him to the ministry or for what reasons they would remove him — is a person who deserves to be praised in comparison with a person who accepts a ministerial role while knowing that many high-level posts in his ministry and its agencies have been transformed into end-of-service benefits, which some obtain after the end of their term of service, compulsory by law, without any consideration for standards of competence and training
  • the insistence on carrying out cabinet reshuffles without any serious attempt to review the overarching policies and decisions that have led the country into economic and social catastrophe — indeed, the current policies — will not yield anything positive
  • In theory, the new constitution gives the parties and blocs in parliament the highest word in forming the government; however, we see them waiting for whatever ingenious cabinet lineup the executive authority is so kind as to bestow upon them, just to rubber stamp it even before the lawmakers know all the names of the new ministers
Ed Webb

Egypt ratifies new law regulating media outlets | Egypt News | Al Jazeera - 0 views

  • The new law, approved by parliament and signed into law by Sisi on Monday, will see the creation of a Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media, a body that can revoke licences to foreign media and fine or suspend publications and broadcasters.

  • The council, whose chairman will be picked by Sisi, will create a list of penalties and sue media organisations that violate its regulations and fine outlets that break licence terms.
  • earlier this month, when the law was still being deliberated in parliament, the press syndicate condemned the legislation as an infringement on the media.

    "The law allows the executive power to take control of media outlets," it said in a statement published by local media.

  • ...1 more annotation...
  • Over the past few years, Egyptian authorities have arrested several Al Jazeera employees, with some being accused of conspiring with "the devil" to destabilise the country.

    According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 25 journalists have been imprisoned in Egypt in 2016, making it the world's third-worst jailer of reporters after Turkey and China.

1 - 20 of 938 Next › Last »
Showing 20 items per page