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Political Change in the Middle East and North AfricaAfter the Arab Spring$
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Inmaculada Szmolka

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415286

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415286.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 21 October 2021

Media and media freedom

Media and media freedom

(p.231) Chapter 10 Media and media freedom
Political Change in the Middle East and North Africa

Javier García-Marín

Edinburgh University Press

The objective of this chapter is to explore the Arab region’s media systems in order to assess the sources of information available to civil society. The chapter is divided into four parts, which provide: first, an account of the political and regulatory environment in which the media have to operate; second, a description of traditional media; third, an overview of satellite television, which is paramount in the region; and fourth, an analysis of internet access in the region. The data analysed in this chapter clearly illustrates that one of the results of the Arab Spring has been the attempt to further control information flows. With the exception of a few countries, especially Tunisia and Algeria, almost all the governments in the region have adopted rules in the hope of controlling information in a more effective way. Of course, this does not mean that citizens are unable to obtain political information through other channels than those accepted by governments. Satellite TV is a first fracture in the closed ecosystem, but events in recent years suggest that it is not entirely free from attempts at regularisation and control. Nonetheless, there are other tools to serve the public that can be treated as sources of information and, therefore, as media: namely the Internet and all its facets.

Keywords:   Political change, MENA countries, Arab Spring and Post-Arab Spring, Mass media, Media laws, Internet, Social media, Press freedom

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