Arab Media in the Arab Spring

After beginning to read Mellor and Zweiri’s books regarding Arab Media, I began to realize a new dynamic in the Arab World; the role of a domestic Arab Media outlet on perceptions of the region as a whole. A specific historical event that came to mind is the on-going progression of the Arab Spring. Mellor discusses how the Arab Media has evolved so rapidly over the past few decades to the point where scholars “claim this is a sign of the so-called ‘contra-flow of culture’ from the Arab region to the rest of the world.” 


This rise of a new media clearly made an impact on the Arab Spring. The rise of a domestic Arab media brought increased pressure upon traditionally autocratic regimes in the region such as Mubarak’s Egypt and Ali’s Tunisia. Further more, the rise of Arab based media outlets allowed for coverage of the Arab Spring to not only be covered by Western media. This brought about mixed results meaning that a new Arab perspective was introduced to the international audience, but this allowed for Arab politics to also interfere in the covering of events in certain countries such as Bahrain.


For example, in Bahrain Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya minimally covered events there due to pressure from Saudi Arabia yet they covered events in Libya and Egypt extensively. What the Arab Spring illustrates is the clear rise of independent Arab Media outlets that have an international audience and an Arab perspective. There is no denying that this was a crucial factor in the facilitation of events in 2011 in the Arab World. 


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