The media in general, especially in the Arab region, is a rich subject for scientific research and analytical criticism. The importance of the media in the Arab countries, except in certain cases, suffers coerced pressure from despotic, totalitarian or dictatorial regimes. The freedom of expression was the first victim of repression, and the political regimes used the media to spread either political, ideological, or religious propaganda, or all of them combined. The media has emerged as an essential tool to influence public opinion in the aftermath of popular protests that turned into either peaceful revolutions or into armed conflict.
The study of the media landscape continues to be considered as an intrusion in political taboos on several levels. Arab research lacks serious studies in this field. This is due to the deficiency of scientific research on social sciences in general and on media in particular.
The observation of either the political or democratic transition, or the observation of the existing revolutions or counter-revolutions, or armed conflicts, highlights the importance of analysing the media. Studying and researching the media are crucial to give the next generation a better understanding of its negative or positive evolution and the reasons to its regression or development.
Encouraging young researchers in the Arab region to study this field is the fundamental task of the Arab Reform Initiative. The Arab Reform Initiative is able to extensively study this issue in ways that are not possible by many Arab universities and research institutes.
Salam Kawakibi - ARSP II Mentor
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