Uprisings and revolt are shaping the political future of Arab nations, and journalists are trying to respond to the demand for reporting that people can trust. On Thursday, Oct. 27, Nieman Reports hosted “The Arab Press: Can It Keep Up With Political Transformations?” an evening of provocative analysis by frontline journalists and keen observers of the changes taking place in the Arab press, including the growing power of the Web and social media.
“Arab Media: Rebuilding Trust With Their Public” – Rami G. Khouri, a 2001 Nieman Fellow who is speaking at this event, offers advice to those who “own, manage or work for traditional news organizations” for rebuilding trust with their public.
“Morocco and Press Freedom: A Complicated Relationship” – Ahmed Benchemsi, former publisher of the best-selling newsmagazine in Morocco, explains how his country went from being a comparative “Disneyland” for press freedom to an environment in which publications were shut down through strategic economic boycotts.
“The Revolutionary Force of Facebook and Twitter” – Jillian C. York, director of international freedom of expression for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, describes the transformational impact of blogs and social media in Arab nations.
Rami G. Khouri, a 2001 Nieman Fellow, has been involved in news media in the Arab world for the past 40 years. He is based at the American University of Beirut and writes a twice-weekly column internationally syndicated by Agence Global.
Amahl Bishara is an assistant professor of anthropology at Tufts University, where she teaches on human rights, media and the Middle East. She is completing an ethnography on U.S. news during the second Palestinian Intifada.
Sabah Hamamou is deputy business editor at Al-Ahram newspaper and founder of Masrawyya—Egyptian Media Hub, a start-up website for new media. She is author of “Diary of a Journalist at Al-Ahram,” being published this fall.
Melissa Ludtke, a 1992 Nieman Felllow, has been editor of Nieman Reports, a quarterly magazine and website about journalism, since 1998. She was previously a reporter for Sports Illustrated and a correspondent for Time magazine.