Broadcasting Change: Arabic Media as a Catalyst for Liberalism

Broadcasting Change: Arabic Media as a Catalyst for Liberalism

by Joseph Braude

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Overview

Amid civil war, failing states, and terrorism, Arab liberals are growing in numbers and influence. Advocating a culture of equity, tolerance, good governance, and the rule of law, they work through some of the region’s largest media outlets to spread their ideals within the culture. Broadcasting Change analyzes this trend by portraying the intersection of media and politics in two Arab countries with seismic impact on the region and beyond. In Saudi Arabia, where hardline clerics silenced their opponents for generations, liberals now dominate the airwaves. Their success in weakening clerics’ grip over the public space would not only help develop the country; it would ensure that the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad exports a constructive understanding of Islam. In Egypt, home to a brutal government crackdown on Islamists and a bloodsport of attacks on Coptic Christians, local liberals are acting with courage on the ground and over the airwaves. Through TV talk shows, drama, and comedy, they play off the government’s anti-Islamist agenda to more thoughtfully advocate religious reform.

Author Joseph Braude, himself a voice in Arabic-language broadcasts and publications, calls for international assistance to the region’s liberals, particularly in the realm of media. Local civic actors and some reform-minded autocrats welcome a new partnership with media experts and democratic governments in North America, European, and the Far East. Broadcasting Change argues that support for liberal reform through Arabic media should be construed as an international “public good” — on par with military peacekeeping and philanthropy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538101285
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/30/2017
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.88(w) x 9.11(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Joseph Braude is a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Program of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a Senior Fellow at the Al-Mesbar Center for Studies and Research in Dubai.

Table of Contents

I. The Case for Arabic Liberal Media

1. From Cairo to Palermo: How Culture Drives Change

2. Why and How to Engage Authoritarian Media 

3. The Crown and the Beret: Two Arab Political Narratives and Their Future

4. Scorpions in the Infosphere: The Danger of Sectarian Broadcasting

II. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

5. Overcoming a Troubled Legacy

6. A New Strand in the Royal Story

7. The UAE as a Saudi Liberal Beachhead

III. The Republic of Egypt

8. Despair along the Nile

9. Ghost in the Machine: Egyptian State Broadcasting in the Shadow of Nasser

10. Negotiating with the Single Voice

11. The TV War against Al-Azhar

12. The Eleventh Plague: Egyptian anti-Semitism and Its Remedies on Stage and Screen

IV. The Role of International Support

13. Pilgrims to the Infosphere: The Story of Foreign Broadcasting in Arabic

14. Conclusion: Arab Liberals in Search of Partners

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