A SEMINAR PAPER ON INTERNATIONAL MEDIA COVERAGE ON ARAB SPRING
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This assessment examines the perspectives of the international media coverage of the Arab revolutions, and the way the subject matter was been publicized around the world, also giving the Orientalist assumptions about the incompatibility of Arab culture or Islam with democracy, as defined by a conception of modernity. Since the tragic event of a 26 year-old Tunisian Mohammed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in December 2010, and the subsequent eruption of a people’s revolution in Tunisia, the Middle East has been in unprecedented turmoil. After decades of suffering under oppressive dictatorships, with basic human rights denied, suddenly the barrier of fear was broken and the people rose to topple their dictatorial governments. Whilst countries were ablaze with revolutions, state-owned media denied any such activity on the ground. State TV channels in countries like Egypt showed empty streets and squares and denied the existence of any sort of uprising. Social media networks played a big role leading up to and during the revolutions, particularly in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria. Major news outlets in the West showed reasonable impartiality in their coverage of the Arab Spring, from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.
The role of the news media is disseminate the right information to the general public, raw and unedited, with the aim of “trying to reflect or to cover the stories that people created themselves”. These include truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability. In the issue of Arab spring there have been a lot of controversies arising from different publications on this subject since it occurrence in 2010 till date. The Arab Spring brought both progress and turmoil, and its long-term impact remains uncertain. A Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire to protest his injustice and harassment at the hands of police. Ever since this tragic event took place, which brought forth the Arab Spring protests. The protest have attracted the continued attention of policy makers, news media and academia alike. The timing of events related to the Arab Spring movement is noteworthy, as it coincides with the widespread use and consumption of social networking channels by the Arab population (Cottle, 2011).
Arab Spring 2010-2011 is seen as the demonstrations in the Middle East and North Africa, it is the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests that took place in the Middle East and North Africa from 18 December 2010. The primary aim of all demonstrators in the Arab world has been the people’s desire for the regime’s fall (Agrawal, 2012). The common feature from the various demonstrations was resistance through campaigns (Al- Jenaibi, 2008), strikes, clashes with government officials, violence, overthrow of several regimes and struggle via the usage of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube aimed towards the organization, communication and information of global masses in respect the above countries efforts to stop oppression and censorship. The most notable demonstrations occurred in Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Syria.
Tunisia before her (late 2010 – early 2011); has been always been rated, even in European countries as a model country in the Muslim world as it seemed characterized by financial stability and since, unlike neighboring countries, fundamentalist Islamist organizations had no influence; however, much of the population actually lives in very poor conditions and suppliers from unemployment (even recent graduates) and increasing food prices. All this combined with the corruption of the regime, the arbitrariness of the police and the violation of human rights are the real causes that led to protests and riots in late 2010 and early 2011 in Tunisia. This seminar on International Media Coverage of “Arab Spring” is meant to examine the key variables that shape the global news coverage about the Arab Spring and its evolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests.
Conceptual Review of Arab Spring Protest The demonstrations in the Middle East and North Africa also known as the Arab Spring Movement is the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests that took place in the Middle East and North Africa from 18 December 2010. Historically, the Arab Spring Movement was began in Tunisia on December 17, 2010. Prior this period, Sudan was the only Arab country that successfully overthrew dictatorial regimes in 1964 and 1985.
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