Arab Media Blog Final Analysis

As a result of having little to no background or understanding prior to this course on the International World or politics especially in the Arab World, I feel that throughout this course I have learned a great deal of information. Through both my own news posts on the blog as well as posts by other members of the class, I feel that I have learned a lot about the Arab World, who is part of the Arab World, current events as well as history of events occurring in the Arab World, and how these countries that make up to Arab World are similar or different from the United States. Through reading news articles and blog posts throughout the semester, I found many things that were both interesting as well as surprising. Through reading blog posts throughout the semester and searching Arab media websites, I found it amazing how much information and events occur in the Arab World that I had never heard about before. Specifically I was amazed at how much information is not publicized in the media that we watch in the United States that in my personal opinion should. Had it not been for me searching for the news in the region and reading the news events on the blog, I feel that in many cases I would not have even heard about the issue. Many of these news stories and article viewed throughout this semester are only about to be found or publicized as an issue on Arab media Website such as: Aljazeera.com, Al Arabia, Albawaba.com, AngryArab.com, etc. The one thing that really surprised me about this limited or non-publicizing of the story in the United States is that many of these stories either impacts/affects the United States in some way and in many cases directly involves the United States. Another aspect that really surprised me from becoming educated in Arab media and politics is how negatively viewed Arab countries as well as individuals from Arab countries are. From a personal standpoint of an individual who previously to this class strictly watched and read news from United States run and viewed media, the amount of incorrect messages, biased claims, and prejudice towards these individuals is absolutely amazing and disappointing.
In addition, another thing that I found shocking and interesting as a result of this course through the media blogs is the way that information is reported depending on the source or site the information is reported by. In more than one occasion, I found that the Arab media did not always provide a story with the correct message and in some cases each news source had a different story to tell with contradicting information. Primarily, I feel that the reason for this was based on the fact of where news sources gain their information from. For example, if a source gains their information from the state and a source of state run media, the news story is going to be biased favoring the state’s view as compared to a story cited from an outside or independent source.
One thing that I noticed from reading the blogs and news events through the semester for this course was the fact that a majority of the stories talked about the Arab World in negative light. In these blogs, I felt that a much greater number of stories about negative events within the media were posted compared to that of positive events happening in the region. However, I did find this to be understandable based on the fact that majority of the times the news and media report a majority of their stories on negative events that are occurring rather than the positive events in the region. News stories predominantly consisted of bombings, violence/ attacks, conflicts between two Arab countries, wars in the region, revolutions and uprisings in the region, and many similar types of events. Nevertheless, this shows that as learned through Politics and the Media and the way that the media functions, news sources and outlets operate on the theory of “if it bleeds, it leads”. This just goes to show that people are much more interesting in knowing the negative things that are going on in the world than the positive and good things that are occurring, because the positive news just does not bring viewers.
Lastly, another aspect that I found I had learned and become aware of a great deal from the blogs posted throughout the semester was how much government censorship, lack of freedom, and restrictions are currently present within the Arab World. Through blog entries and news articles, I was surprised at how much control the government had over certain people within the region and how much oppression goes on in some of these countries. While many of these Arab countries have gone through revolutions and uprisings which resulted in change of leadership and government power allowing more freedoms for the people, many other Arab countries are still restricted and under government tyranny /suppression.

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