I am pleased to announce the publication of Issue 13.2 of the Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research (JAMMR), which has an interesting line up of timely papers. The journal is an international refereed academic platform, published by Intellect in the UK. You may access the papers of this issue as well as other issues from the JAMMR’s homepage.
We trust you will find this publication a valuable resource for research about media, communication and society in the Arab World and the Middle East.
Volume (13): Issue (2); October 2020.
Media events and translation: The case of the Arab Spring
This article contributes to the growing research on transnational and global media events by focusing on the role of translation in the process of mediated meaning-making of the so-called Arab Spring. Furthermore, the article focuses on the role of traditional media channels (television), and questions conflation of the Arab Spring and the Arab world. Therefore, a database was created of the English television coverage on Egypt’s and Syria’s uprisings done by ‘Russia Today’ and ‘Al Jazeera’. The coverage was analysed using narrative and discourse analysis focusing on the role of media reports translation. This analysis included different translations and also considered the impact of these translations on the overall framing of the media event. It demonstrated how translation positioned the narrative structure of media events and their internal dynamic; how these dynamics were reconfigured through recontextualization; how participants were repositioned; and how the competition impacted the further dynamics of the media event.
Patriotism and Islam on social media: How Pakistani publics revisit their allegiance to the state
Authors: Munira Cheema
This study focuses on a series of events related to the sudden disappearance of bloggers in Pakistan on 7 January 2017. Following the incident, the broadcast media reported that the bloggers were sharing blasphemous content and were involved in anti-state activities. This revelation triggered online conversations that questioned their sympathizers’ patriotism and loyalty to Islam. The study locates how this led to the emergence of several hashtag-led publics on Twitter. While focusing two hashtags that polarized the publics on the issue, the study utilizes discourse analysis to evaluate the discourses generated by the conservative and the liberal publics on patriotism and national identity. This study finds that while conflating national identity with Islam, the conservative discourse constitutes angry, threat-like closed statements that allowed no room for disagreement. Liberal publics, on the other hand, use strategic speaking to create anti-state discourse on patriotism. Despite the heated exchange between the two publics, I argue that on this occasion (event-led), Twitter offered the opportunity for initiating counter-narratives that refuse to translate patriotism in the idiom of religion. I see this as an occasional, episodic, yet unprecedented form of public sphering in Pakistani context that brings both liberals and conservatives in direct contact with each other.
Applying McLuhan’s tetradic framework to the effects of 9/11 on US media reports and depictions of Muslims
Authors: Jonathan Matusitz
This article applies McLuhan’s tetradic framework to the impact of 9/11 on US media reports and portrayals of Muslims. The tetradic framework posits that transformations in media and world life happen through four fundamental steps. All forms of media (1) intensify specific aspects of media culture while, simultaneously, (2) making other characteristics of media culture obsolete. At some point, people tend to (3) discover new things about aspects in media culture that were ignored in the past (i.e. which obsolete aspects of culture do media retrieve?). Finally, (4) with this rise in information-seeking and discovery, media culture is experiencing continuous modification. Stated differently, the media go through a reversal when pushed too far or extended beyond the limits of their capacity. Overall, this analysis is able to inform readers on the full complexity of the long-term development of people’s perceptions of Muslims as a result of the constant metamorphosis of the media.
Covering ISIS in the British media: Exploring agenda-setting in The Guardian newspaper
Self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS) hit the news headlines across the globe in the post-Arab Uprisings period. Its main aim was to replace the ‘colonialist borders’ of the Middle East created with the Sykes–Picot agreement in 1916. One of the atrocities of this terror network was against a minority in Iraq, the Yazidis. Whereas other victims of ISIS, such as Alawites, Druze, Ismailis and Turkmen, have not been covered thoroughly in the British and US media, Yazidis – in particular Yazidi women – dominated the titles. Notwithstanding, the framing of the Yazidis has been influential in the engagement of the Obama administration against ISIS’ move in the Levant; the Kurdish minority is still under threat today because of their ethnic and religious identity. This article discusses how agenda-setting effects the news media’s power to shape individual attitudes and public opinion. The Guardian’s agenda-setting is discussed in this article as a credible, ‘most liberal’ and ‘most trusted’ news brand in the United Kingdom. A content analysis of news articles regarding the plight of Yazidi population in Iraq and its continuous coverage mostly focusing on Yazidi women was conducted, with the articles published at the time when the crisis broke out. The authors of this article apply the notions of an ‘East–West’ divide and ‘Othering’ to frame ISIS’ move in Mount Sinjar, Iraq. The study emphasizes that The Guardian not only set the agenda by prioritizing the circumstances of the Yazidi population, but also deployed frameworks of ‘orientalist’ depictions of Yazidi women as slaves of ISIS.
Framing terrorism: A comparative content analysis of ISIS news on RT Arabic and Sky News Arabia websites
This study compares RT Arabic and Sky News Arabia websites in their coverage of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria violent organization known as ISIS from 1 June 2014 until 30 June 2016, in terms of framing type and the image reflected about ISIS. The quantitative content analysis of the news articles shows similarities and few differences in the news coverage of ISIS. The study suggests that RT and Sky News share a few features in framing ISIS but still differ significantly. The two websites adopt mainly the conflict frame in presenting ISIS issues; however, they report ISIS differently when it comes to violence and human interest frames. The findings also reveal that RT and Sky News differ partially in the image reflected about ISIS on their websites. RT has exaggerated ISIS’s image more distinctly than Sky News. Besides, even though threat is the most dominant discourse about ISIS in the two websites, RT promotes ISIS as powerful and exaggerates its strength in its coverage more than Sky News.
Authenticity and discourses in Aladdin (1992)
Authors: Abderrahmene Bourenane
Since the first encounters between the East and the West, many Western artistic productions have been produced to introduce the Orient to the Occident. Antoine Galland’s translation of the oriental folkloric tales, known as One Thousand and One Nights marked a cultural transfer through introducing an exotic, colourful and adventurous, yet unsafe, life-threatening and mysterious image of the Orient. Scholars question the authenticity of the translation, and reject the true belonging of the tale of Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp to the oriental cultural heritage suggesting its Western construction. This fabrication suggests the existence of several discourses that are to be unfolded with the critical discourse analysis of the pictorial and textual discourse of the tale and its several filmic adaptations. The tale was fully or partially adapted in several cinematographic productions during the last century. For example, while Aladin (1906) faithfully adapted part of the original tale, the 1992 version directed by Clements and Musker is a loosely inspiration perceived through an orientalist filter. The aim of this article is to investigate the authenticity and disclose the discourses concealed in Galland’s translation and its 1992 filmic adaptation, the critical discourse analysis in addition to Edward Saïd’s Orientalism provide the theoretical framework to analyse the excerpts from the translation and scenes from the film, in order to disclose the colonial, orientalist and feminist discourses they encapsulate.
Have a good read,
Noureddine Miladi (Editor)
Noureddine Miladi (PhD)
Professor of Media & Communication
College of Arts and Science
PO Box: 2713