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Media on Media Roundup (May 9)

[Turkish citizens protest against the state's Internet censorship in 2011. Photo by Erdem Civelek, Wikimedia Commons] [Turkish citizens protest against the state's Internet censorship in 2011. Photo by Erdem Civelek, Wikimedia Commons]

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup tackles several important themes influencing the MENA mediascape. On the eve of the second round of France’s elections, ISIS-operated An-Nur Media Center published posters urging members of the organization to target voters, candidates, and polling stations. A court in Ankara rejected Wikimedia Foundation’s appeal after the Turkish government banned Wikipedia for a site entry that accused Turkey of having links with ISIS. Europol began investigations into an alleged ISIS social network, Daeshbook, which is used to connect potential militants with one another. In Qatar, Al Jazeera news channel threatens to sue Russian outlet Sputnik over allegations it staged a chemical attack in Syria. Palestinian representatives from the ongoing hunger strike dismissed a video allegedly showing strike leader Marwan Barghouti eating in his cell, claiming the footage reflects “false rumors” propagated by Israeli media.

On the cultural front, Lebanese graphic novelist Jorj Mhaya is expected to release the sequel to his illustrated tale “A City Neighboring the Earth” later this year, following the success of the first installment.

All these stories and more can be found below.

Media and Politics

ISIS Posters call to target candidates, voters, polling stations on France election day
Source: Middle East Media Research Institute
The day before the final round of France’s elections, An-Nur Media Center, an Islamic State (ISIS) media outlet in French circulated posters urging its members to target voters, candidates, and polling stations.

Netanyahu tosses Hamas policy paper on Israel into waste bin
Source: Reuters
In a video circulating on social media, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu symbolically tossed into a bin a Hamas policy paper that allegedly presented a softer stance towards Israel. In the document, Hamas rejected the Jewish state's right to exist and continued to support "armed struggle" against it.

Trigger warning: Al-Qaeda starts "jihadi book club" in Yemen
Source: The New Arab
Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen has allegedly launched a “jihadi book club” in Taiz that promises winners a Kalashinkov as the prize. The contest asks participants to read and listen to the group’s assigned book and audio material, then summarize them in thirty pages. 

US media sees Trump visit to Saudi Arabia as a strong statement against Iran, ISIS
Source: Asharq Al-Awsat
Writer Heba El Koudsy comments on media coverage preceding President Trump’s planned visit to the Middle East, stating that his first stop in Saudi Arabia is a powerful step in Trump’s “fight” against terrorism in the region.

الشبكات المحوسبة لجيش الاحتلال تعرضت لهجمات سايبر
المصدر: العربي الجديد
قال تقرير نشر على موقع صحيفة "يديعوت أحرنوت" أنّ قرب 10 بالمئة من حالات العطب التي أصابت الشبكات والمنظومات المحوسبة للجيش الإسرائيلي كانت هجمات سايبر.  

Media Industries

Pay-TV revenues in Sub-Saharan Africa set to "rocket"
Source: The Media Online
Digital TV Research, a UK-based agency, expects pay-TV revenues in the Middle East and North Africa to increase by seventeen percent to $4.12 billion between 2016 and 2022.

Can art save print media? Award-winning newspaper designer thinks so
Source: Arab News
At the 16th Arab Media Forum in Dubai, newspaper designer Jacek Utko argued that innovative visual layouts are key to save print newspapers from the rise of digital media alternatives.

Freedom of Journalists/Expression

Turkish bans on Wikipedia and public drinking rouse anger
Source: Al-Monitor
Tourism professionals in Antalya, Turkey were angered by an imposed ban on public drinking, which they fear will worsen floundering tourism revenues. The Turkish government also banned Wikipedia over entries that allegedly link the country to ISIS terror activities.

Turkey court rejects Wikipedia appeal over blocking: State media
Source: Reuters
A court in Ankara rejected the Wikimedia Foundation’s appeal over the Turkish government’s decision to block Wikipedia, stating that while freedom of speech is a right, it can be limited where there is a "necessity for regulation."

Egypt-Sudan relations hit new low after journalist deportations
Source: Middle East Eye
Egypt-Sudan relations experience tensions after Egypt refused the entry of and deported Sudanese journalists Iman Kamal al-Din and Al-Tahir Satti last week. Sudan’s foreign minister responded, stating that entry of Egyptian citizens would be dealt with at the consular level. 

It’s getting harder than ever to be a journalist in Qatar
Source: Doha News
According to the World Press Freedom Index, Qatar was ranked 123rd out of 180 countries in 2016, the lowest score the country has seen in several years. The article argues that strict laws prohibiting journalists from expressing their opinions freely are to blame for the demotion.

بداية ونهاية «كرموز»: صحافة تحررت من المركز وضاق بها الهامش
المصدر: مدى مصر
تتحدث المقالة عن بداية ونهاية مسيرة صحيفة «كرموز» المصرية، و التي توقفت عن العمل عام 2016  بسبب الضائقات المالية والصعوبات السياسية التي واجهتها مع الحكومة المصرية منذ اندلاع الثورة عام 2011. أدّت الإشتباكات العديدة  مع المركزعبر السنوات الخمس إلى حبس شخصين من فريق العمل: عبد الرحمن ياقوت وأحمد فؤاد.

"يوم الصحافة" اللبناني: الاحتفال ترف
المصدر: المدن
يقول الكاتب علي سعد أنّ لا يستطيع لبنان الاحتفال بيوم العالمي لحرية الصحافة لأن الصحافة اللبنانية ما زالت قاصرة عن أداء دورها  في تعزيز "مناخات الحرية والسلام والأمن الاجتماعي".

Social Media

Daeshbook: Europol launch probe into possible IS-built social media network
Source: Middle East Eye
Europol launched a probe into a potential ISIS social media network, Daeshbook, which was allegedly set up to recruit fighters, circumventing bans by Twitter and Facebook.  

Palestinians take "salt water challenge" for hunger-strikers
Source: Times of Israel
Mimicking the social media “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” phenomenon, Palestinians started a “salt water challenge" to stand in solidarity with hunger-strikers in Israeli prisons.  The article notes that over one thousand supporters have taken the challenge.

Moroccan cleric defies taboo on women's inheritance
Source: Middle East Online
Moroccan cleric Abdelwahab Rafiki sparked a debate on women’s inheritance in the country, calling for equality between men and women under Sharia law.  His controversial remarks won him the favor of liberal media outlets, like the local TelQuel, but allegedly resulted in anonymous death threats via social media.

Trump proposal calls for more scrutiny on visas, asks for social media, email
Source: Sputnik International
The US government proposed a measure that would make obtaining visas more difficult, asking applicants to provide up to five years’ worth of social media information and email addresses.

Outrage as Lebanese ex-minister says 'spinsters' unsuitable for office
Source: The New Arab
A tweet by former Lebanese minister Wiam Wahhab angered social media users after he claimed unmarried women should not be given high-ranking judicial positions.  His comment comes after two female government officials intervened in the case of an elderly woman who was re-arrested for building violations.

Media Practices

Palestinian hunger strikers reject "fake footage" of leader eating
Source: Middle East Eye
Representatives of the Palestinian hunger strike rejected footage allegedly showing strike leader Marwan Barghouti eating in his cell, claiming that the video was an Israeli attempt at “psychological warfare.”

Turkey rejects Egyptian newspaper allegation about its position on UNESCO decision
Source: Middle East Monitor
Turkey’s permanent ambassador to UNESCO refuted an Egyptian newspaper allegation that Turkey voted against a decision describing Israel as the occupying power in Palestine. The ambassador noted that his government continues to support Palestine in “all platforms.”

New book examines contrasts between Western and Arab Media coverage
Source: Albawaba
In his new book, “The News Media at War: The Clash of Western and Arab Networks in the Middle East,” Dr. Tarek Cherkaoui explores the reasons for differing media narratives on the 2003 Iraq War, aiming to highlight a gap “in worldview, perception, and communication between the West and the Arab World.”

Al Jazeera to sue Sputnik over claim it faked Syria chemical weapons attack
Source: Middle East Monitor
Al Jazeera threatened to sue Russian outlet Sputnik for defamation after it was accused of staging a chemical weapons attack against civilians in Syria. Al Jazeera claimed the report was fake news and called Sputnik a propaganda machine.  

إعلاميو إدلب يطلقون مؤسسة لتوحيد العمل الصحافي
المصدر: العربي الجديد
أطلق ناشطون إعلاميون في محافظة إدلب السورية مؤسسة لتوحيد العمل الصحافي بعيداً عن التحزبات و الإنتماءات الفصائلية ووصولاً إلى إعلام ثوري موحد.


Beirut illustrated in “A City Neighboring the Earth”
Source: Beirut Report
Jorj Mhaya’s first graphic novel, “A City Neighboring the Earth,” touches upon themes of alienation and belonging in Beirut and blurs the line between reality and fiction. The book is the first part of a series, with the sequel expected to be released this year.

Israel moves to downgrade Arabic from official language status
Source: The National (via AFP)
Israeli ministers passed a controversial bill defining Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people” and downgrading Arabic as an official language.  If the bill is passed, Arabic would have special status.

A Libyan Odyssey
Source: Reorient
Sherif Dhaimish pens an ode to his late father, Hasan Dhaimish--also known as “Alsature”--a Libyan caricaturist and graphic artist who spent his life drawing sociopolitical commentaries against Gaddafi’s regime.

Licensed to draw
Source: Qantara
Algerian cartoonists overcome restrictions on press freedoms through their work, commenting on pressing social, economic, and political issues. According to the article, they address several issues journalists cannot tackle such as national reconciliation, economic crises, and the President’s health.

Cinéma: Palestiniennes et Algériennes, même combat
Source: Jeune Afrique
Writer Renaud de Rocheburne draws parallels between Palestinian film “I Will Dance if I want To” and Algerian production “At My Age, I Still Hide To Smoke,” two tragi-comedies that call for the liberation of women from patriarchy and religious constraints.

Artists seen "pushing" boundaries in Saudi Arabia
Source: The Daily Star
According to Ahmed Mater, owner of a creative hub in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Saudi artists are pushing boundaries as the kingdom undergoes cultural changes. Wide-ranging economic and social changes under the Vision 2030 plan the development of a Royal Arts Complex and a Media City.  

How pop culture normalizes violence against women in Egypt
Source: Cairoscene
In this opinion piece, Miral El Magdoub examines how Egyptian pop culture fosters negative attitudes towards women following a UN Women survey which found a certain percentage of male respondents in the Middle East and North Africa region agree that a woman should tolerate violence to keep the family together.

الدراما التركية... القوّة الناعمة التي تدخل إلى بيوت كل العرب
المصدر: رصيف22
بحسب الكاتب مجدي سمير، استطاعت الحكومة التركية جذب المواطن العربي ثقافياً، سياسياً و اجتماعياً من خلال مسلسلات الدراما التركية التي اخترقت الفضاء العربي عام 2004.

From Jadaliyya Media Roundups

Internet Revolution Egypt Facebook admin released on bail
Source: Jadaliyya Egypt Media Roundup
Ahmed Abdel Naby, an administrator of the Internet Revolution Egypt Facebook page was released on bail this Friday, following his arrest for publishing documents detailing former government discussions to block and surveil VoIP services on the page.

ISIS media chief in Syria killed by coalition airstrike
Source: Jadaliyya Syria Media Roundup
The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) reported that a prominent ISIS media chief was killed in a coalition strike last Thursday.

[The "Media On Media Roundup" is an initiative to survey published material in the news and broadcast media that deals with journalism, coverage, or mass communication practices about the region. These roundups are produced and curated in collaboration with the American University of Beirut's Media Studies Program. The items collected here do not reflect the views of Jadaliyya or the editors of the Media Page]

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