Global Media Journal Spring 2013-Guest Editors Note
Philip Auter, Ali Alkarni
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, USA
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Global Media Journal
The Spring 2013 issue of Global Media Journal American edition focuses on
the rapid changes occurring in the "Arab World." In the midst of rapid social
and governmental change, as well as the rise and fall of political regimes,
personal and social media seem to stay at the forefront. During the initial
period of revolution in Egypt, the Mubarak government tried to "turn the
internet off." Rather than quash the protests, as cutting off communication
has typically done in the past, it inflamed the public even further, possibly
escalating the government's fall.
Communication technology has influenced the public sphere in the Middle
Eastern cultures in the past a few decades, starting from radio to television,
but probably, the start and the spread of TV satellite channels in the early
1990s, with an open sky in the Arab world,, was a turning point in the effect
of technology on societies of the region. The Internet became political and
social tools of real changes in the region since 2011, when the Arab Spring
started in Tunisia, Egypt and the rest of the change. The development and the
introduction of technology within the Internet industry has accelerated the
pace of change, and became the friend of Arab revolutions.
As people cross cultures, religions, and geography with instant and free or low
cost communication one to one -- such as Skype and SMS -- they became
more able to converse with people across the world as if they were merely
across the street. Blogs, comes the forth in terms of social media effects on
the region. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social medial allowed
these people to now become producers or publishers creating one to many
content -- spreading their messages and fueling change at a faster pace.
We share with you both invited papers and juried papers -- many collaborated
on by both faculty and graduate students together.
Prof. William R. Davie lead a team of researchers that surveyed young people
in a number of MENA countries and the U.S. on their perceptions of media
coverage of politics and change, discovering some surprising results.
Prof. Mahmoud Galander contributed a piece on how Al-Jazeera's "advocacy
journalism" may have affected the diffusion of revolution in the region.
Prof. Naila Hamdy looked at perceptions of media credibility in Egypt post
Prof. Yusuf Kalyango explored how SNS has changed communication styles
in East and West Africa.
While Prof. Odine looked at how women use social media in the region.
Dr. Obaid S. Al-Shaqsi presents a study of readership and reader opinions of
Dr. David Coulson reviews how social media affects politics and public policy
in the Arab World.
Graduate student Gina Harden compares social media use in Saudi Arabia vs
the United States.
These papers all share with us some insights into technology and change in
the region. All has not been as expected with the change. Some has been for
the better, some for the worse. Some change could be either -- depending
upon your cultural viewpoint. In the midst of this rapidly changing region of a
rapidly changing world, we are pleased to present this issue with articles
focused on Middle East communication events.