Monday, May 31, 2004

Arab Media Watch

For the train back from Rabat, I picked up a copy of al-Ahram Weekly. One thing I got to see was the ads, most of which were related to education, with American-style education being a major selling point. On the front page was an ad for AU-Cairo with five majors singled out, presumably as major sellers: Economics, Political Science, Business, Computer Science, and Engineering. In terms of articles, you might want to check out this media review, in which it seems the Egyptian failure to win the World Cup is giving rise to bits of political protest. Also check out the status of democracy in Pakistan.

That night, we also had al-Arabiya on in the villa. One thing I saw was what looked like a program dedicated to reviewing the American and British media on stories of interest to the Arab world. The papers cited were the Washington Post, New York Times, New York Post, Independent, and Observer. Tom Friedman's column got a special segment of its own, with a political science professor called in to discuss it. I'm not comfortable saying more, but the tone was dispassionate. Arabs apparently pay more serious attention to us than we do to them. It was also interesting how outlets like Le Monde or Xinhua were never used. I'll try to pick up more on this sort of thing as time goes along. Maybe Abu Aardvark knows for sure what I was seeing.

UPDATE: I should also add that the main stories were a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia (lead story), stuff about Iraq, Darfur, and something done by Ariel Sharon.


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