A panel organised by the Arab Media Centre, Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) and BBC Media Action.
Drinks 6–6.30 pm
Over the past 25 years, there has been a gradual opening up of the media in the Arab world, first through the advent of satellite broadcasting, and subsequently through the explosion of new media. This pluralism has undoubtedly had a liberalising effect on the political landscape of the region. But its media have also been co-opted increasingly into the service of narrow political interests and the wide choice offered by the Internet has in fact become more narrowly political.
Amid this increasingly polarised political space, BBC Media Action’s new policy briefing – ‘After the Arab uprisings: the prospects for a media that serves the public’ – argues that one regional institution in particular – the national broadcaster – could paradoxically help bridge some of these social divides, provided that it can be reformed to serve public, rather than state, interests.
BBC Media Action’s report findings will be presented by Alexandra Buccianti, Project Manager – Middle East and North Africa at BBC Media Action, followed by responses from Dr Tarik Sabry, Director of the Arab Media Centre, and Dr Fatima El-Issawi, Middle East Centre / LSE and senior lecturer (University of Essex). Professor Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Prize and author of Pinkoes and Traitors: BBC and the Nation 1974-1987, will chair the panel. The event will open with drinks at 6pm.
We hope that the evening will provide a lively format for exploring the politics of the media in the Arab Region at a moment of pivotal change.