Write about the Aljazeera TVs Role in Shaping the Political Consciousness of the Arab.
The impact of Al Jazeera on the Arab world
Al Jazeera is a “Qatar based Arabic language” television satellite channel that is highly recognized for the revolutionizing of television news coverage in the Arab world. Right after the launching of the Al Jazeera Television in the year 1996, the status of the Arab Media as well as its interaction with the political sphere that existed at that time is quite different from what is being experienced in the contemporary society (Cherribi, 2017). This is attributed to the fact that the launching of the Al Jazeera News Channel significantly resulted in political and media changes among the Arabs. One of the significant changes that are known to have resulted as a result of the Al Jazeera channel is the Arab Spring that is known to have begun in Tunisia in the month of December 2010, and reached its peak during the Egyptian revolution in the month of January 2011. This event not only resulted in the falling of 4 dictatorships but it is also known to have unleashed a wave of democratization as well as the reshaping of the image of Arab as a region.
The idea of this research is actually to analyze the democratization effect as well as the political implications that the Al Jazeera Chanel has had on the entire Arab sphere, however, the major aim of the research will expand to include Aljazeera performance and impact on the audience, focusing on Aljazeera’s tools, techniques, and ideology in hand, and its impact on the Egyptian youth, despite their different backgrounds, on the other hand.
The research will thus be aimed at filling any gaps in the prevailing literature that has been known to highly ignore the Arab region or world, specifically Egypt, that has since time immemorial remained to be highly under researched. As such, the “bottom-up approach” will be used in order to depict the significant role that is played by the media in the achievement or attainment of political change. This is based on the fact that it has proved to be an uphill task to effectively separate any changes in the media aspect or landscape from those which are available in the political arena (Seib, 2016). The Arab spring is therefore a viable example that effectively depicts such interplay of the media and political landscapes. Based on that, it can truly be asserted that Democratization in the Arab world is not an abstract but rather, it is a development process which needs the attention of each one of us and even calls for the intervention of well coordinated scholarly efforts.
Background on the research
In order to effectively develop an effective approach that can help in the comprehension of Arab democratization as well as effectively analyze the complex dynamics that are associated with it, Grounded Theory as well as the powerful tools that are associated with it in building of the theory will be used (Abdelmoula, 2015). Based on this type of the theoretical framework, qualitative methodology will be used in the elaboration of the empirical section of the research that will mainly comprise of analysis and interpretation of in-depth interviews that will be carried out using a sample of staff working at Al Jazeera in numerous editorial and managerial positions.
- What is the role of Al Jazeera TV in shaping of the political consciousness of the Arab?
- What is the contribution of Al Jazeera to the development of the Egyptian Sphere and to the enhancement of political awareness?
- What are the tools and techniques Aljazeera TV use in order to get the region’s attention, and to be the main compass to get the world news?
- What are the elements of Aljazeera TV’s style book that indicate its ideological policy?
- Who are Aljazeera TV’s audience in Egypt?
- What is the impact of Aljazeera’s executives’ ideological backgrounds on the editorial policy?
- What is the relation between Aljazeera TV’s institutional thinking and its content production and its discourse?
- How far Aljazeera’s influence has grown in numbers since 2010 among the Egyptian youth?
- How Aljazeera’s programs gained the Egyptian youth’s attention?
- How young Egyptians, from different backgrounds, were influenced by Aljazeera, and how this influence changed the political status?
- What is Aljazeera’s broadcasters’ influence on the Egyptians youth’s political opinions and vision?
- When Aljazeera’s influence was at its peak on the Egyptian youth?
- How were Arabs from different backgrounds influenced through Aljazeera TV and how did it influence their political status?
Due to the successive waves of democratization that was known to have swept the world in the last four decades, there was an in-depth generation of literature that not only compared and explored the processes, but also explored and compared both attitudes and outcomes. Due to the phenomenal changes that followed, numerous transitions towards the attainment of democratic governance occurred in various parts of the world such as in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America, and in Europe. However, one region that was discovered to have lagged behind the phenomenal changes was the Arab world and generally the Middle East. It was quite unfortunate that most of the scholarly works did not have consideration on the Arab region and thus they were not interested in the exploration of the dynamics of both political and social change. As such, they lacked the interest of questioning the resistance of the political systems of the Arab world towards democratization.
According to Ogola (2015), Al Jazeera T.V played a significant role in not only awakening the “Arab Political Conscience” but also in the shaping of political debate in the Arab world, even though the station was at first accused of supporting terrorists and radical Islamists, the management and journalists of the TV station ought to be given utmost consideration for the development of the four main precedents that have played a crucial role in the mainstream Arab journalism. For instance, the banishing of the monopoly which has been held by most of the Arab governments by Al Jazeera played a significant role in ensuring that television news was available for people in the Arab world from various sources. It also increased competition among most of the Arab stations because since its founding approximately 250 different Arabic channels have also been launched across the Arab world thus raising the political consciousness of people from the region. Thirdly, the introduction of variety in both programming as well as opinion made Al Jazeera to kick open the door towards not only democracy but also free speech in the Arab world. Even though it was quite dangerous and a taboo to even mention the word Israel in some of the countries in the Arab World, Al Jazeera took the courage step of opening numerous bureaus that were based in Israel. That part, Al Jazeera Television made it possible for most of the Arabic audiences to be in a better position of getting independent news information from the Arab world as opposed to news that had a western perspective thus enhancing the political consciousness of the Arab people.
Al Jazeera's role in Arab democratization
A much detailed version of Al Jazeera’s and other satellite television stations’ transformation of Arab politics can be witnessed in Marc Lynch’s ‘Voices of The New Arab Public…Iraq, Al-Jazeera, and Middle East Politics Today’ (2006). Marc Lynch in his version reveals how Al Jazeera was able to provide a stable platform to stiffen voices to openly participate in debates regarding Palestine, Islam, Arab identity, Iraq and other prominent social and political issues by challenging the status of state control. The outcomes of these public debates have redefined the meaning of being an Arab and in reshaping the domain of political possibility. According to Marc Lynch, the continuous engaging of Arab governments and the United States in this fresh influential and confident public sphere would deeply be utilised in shaping the future of the Arab world as the opinioned monolithic Arab days has come to an end.
Mohamed Zayani (2005) who published ‘The Al Jazeera Phenomenon ... Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media’ is also an important source in order to prove that there are few phenomena that are more controversial in the Arab world than Al Jazeera. There are many timely articles which provide more information and analysis of the network especially by Arabic speaking scholars who also speak about how Al Jazeera affected the public and even the foreign policies of Western governments. This publication is also helpful to have a real insight into Al Jazeera’s agendas, programs politics, and treatment of the West along with coverage of regional crisis. This book is primarily focused on Al Jazeera’s impact on ordinary Arab viewers and in understanding its role in Arab politics.
Bogomolov (2015) says that Al Jazeera TV has played a significant role in shaping the political consciousness of the Arab world because it is a free channel that is known to operate in what is perceived by many observers as being regions which are less inclined towards the freedom of expression. This was made possible by Qatar’s initiative of ensuring that the press was liberalized and any form of censorship was done away with.
It can truly be ascertained that to a certain extent, Al Jazeera is capable of not only filling a media void but the TV station is also capable of filling the political; void that exists in the Arab world (Gray & Gordo, 2014). For instance, it can truly be asserted that Al Jazeera TV actually serves as a “de-facto pan-Arab opposition” as well as a forum that is used for resistance. Al Jazeera TV has provided a good voice for most “Arab opposing vies” as well as a platform for most of the political dissidents that stay abroad (Mansour et al, 2015). It is also through Al Jazeera that media representatives of various opposition groups from the Arab region have got an opportunity to institute rights of getting access to media.
Methodology: Grounded Theory and qualitative research
The Qualitative methodology was selected because it is indeed the best one that can be used in studying, comprehending, and explaining a complex phenomenon such as political consciousness in the Arab world. There is a strong believe by the researcher that the unique capacity that is associated with qualitative methodology does not necessarily emanate from the disciplinary origins (Ogola, 2013). The use of in-depth interviews and observation will make the researcher to be in a better position of sharing interpretative lens adopted by the actors or subjects and how they use to ensure that there is production of their own comprehension of their cultural, social, and political environments. Through changing from one subject to the other one, the researcher can effectively comprehend and thus easily identify any dominant institutions and powers that tint their own lenses and frame personal views (Brotherhood, 2016).
As opposed to the use of quantitative methodology in which researchers become “distant outsider observers” that treat individuals as silent objects, the use of qualitative methodology actually avoids such distance by ensuring that participants’ observation is coupled with enhanced interaction between both researchers as well as their subjects (Atzori, 2013). Despite the fact that such close interactions and identifications between subjects and researchers usually leads to attraction of criticism about the reliability of the data that has been collected, it is prudent to note that some of the protocols which require researchers to provide or present full records and transcripts of group meetings and interviews actually reduce the impacts of this evident weakness (Haj Omar, 2016). That apart, the method is also known to acknowledge the central role which is played by the researcher and also legitimizes the subjective interpretation as opposed to pretending of objectivity as well as the ability of easily arriving at scientific truths as being positivist claims (Douai & Moussa, 2016).
The analysis in this research will incorporate both sides of the communication equation; Aljazeera broadcasting a message and audiences reacting to. Thus, it is important to note that the explanation of the role played by Al Jazeera in shaping the political consciousness of the Arab is well achieved through effective implementation of the Grounded Theory guidelines and the use of an interpretive approach that is known to conceptualize the discourses, forces, and struggles in the culture, history, and social fabrics of the Arab region (Khosrokhavar, 2016). Apart from the theoretical framework offered to researchers, it is also important to note that Grounded theory presented practical strategies in direction, management, and even in the streamlining of both data collection as well as analysis.
Al Jazeera's effect on ordinary Arab viewers
Phenomenal interests since the launching of Al Jazeera in the year 1996 led to generation of huge data amounts in different forms and degrees that were deemed vital for academic research. It is important to note that much of this data has already been collected and ultimately analyzed. However, it is quite unfortunate that lots of such data has remained unprocessed, especially that from the perspectives of political science (Abunajela, 2015).
The research will mainly be collected through interviews since historically, contextually, and politically, the data which is gathered or collected using this common tool is not objective and thus will not be regarded as being irrefutable or neutral scientific truth. It is important to note that interviewing is not just a matter of neutral exchange in which questions are asked and answers obtained (Shehabat, 2015). Rather, an interview should be a process in which two or even more individuals get involved and results in the development of a collaborative effort. The semi-structured interviews will be the best because they are capable of serving the purpose of the research topic and effectively match well with qualitative methodology especially in frameworks that lie within grounded theory.
The reason why the researcher will use structured interviews is to make it possible for actors in various levels and organizational positions of decision making processes to present their insights (Jaspal, 2014). As a result, the researcher will interview senior members of editorial staff, management, as well as journalists of Al Jazeera TV alike. A maximum of 20 in-depth interviews will thus have to be carried out with the relevant people at Al-Jazeera T.V. It is important to note that the list of people to be interviewed will be randomly chosen.
In addition, the researcher will use focus group in order to determine the Egyptian audience’s attitudes, perceptions and opinions towards Aljazeera’s content. In order to get effective and authoritative answers the researcher will select the members of the focus group carefully from different backgrounds, taking into consideration the geographical diversity.
This research focuses on Aljazeera’s content production, media discourse and the institution thinking since 2010 and how the Egyptian youth, from different backgrounds, received it in terms of exposure level, trust and credibility perception.
Based on the above information, it can truly be ascertained that could not have been Al Jazeera Television, then the political consciousness that currently prevails in the Arab would could not be existent. It is quite evident that Al Jazeera TV has overcome numerous challenges in its quest to ensure that relevant political information reaches the Arab audience without fear or favor. The courage that has been exhibited by Al Jazeera T.V has made it to cut itself a huge market share or niche in the Arab world and it has earned the trust of its audience. Indeed, it is quite apparent that Al Jazeera TV has achieved substantial cloud and influence in the Arab world through bringing issues and conflicts into its audience that is known to be predominantly Arabic. Through numerous ways, Al Jazeera TV has actually “reinvigorated senses of common destiny” by enhancing Arab unity thus positively shaping the political consciousness of the Arab.
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