Hypermedia Space and Global Communication Studies Lessons from the Middle East
Global media environment that began with the advent of the Internet and accelerated with the rise of mobile devices, social networking media, and user-generated content. These developments pose a radical challenge to the theoretical frameworks that have traditionally dominated international communication scholarship, if only because serious attempts to capture contemporary media dynamics require us to leave behind the meta-theoretical frameworks of modernization, dependency and globalization, and focus sharply on case-studies that yield insight about context-bound communication processes and their social and political implications. Indeed, we argue in this essay, whereas television was the default and often unstated fulcrum of much of global communication theory, the emergent global media environment is best understood as a transnational “hypermedia space” (see Kraidy, 2006) in which so-called “old” media like television and the newspaper join emergent media like mobile devices, social media, video on the Internet, and others to create a communication space the social and political implications of which we are only beginning to discern.
Marwan M. Kraidy