Gulf War Journalism

by Barbara Harlow
published in MER180

John J. Fialka, Hotel Warriors: Covering the Gulf War (Woodrow Wilson Center, 1991).

John R. MacArthur, Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War (Hill and Wang, 1992).

Jacqueline Sharkey, Under Fire: US Military Restrictions on the Media from Grenada to the Persian Gulf (Center for Public Integrity, 1992).

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Cartoon Commentary

Algerian and Moroocan Caricatures from the Gulf War

by Susan Slyomovics
published in MER180

A cartoon image is short and direct and does not move when you look at it. Condensing history, culture and social relationships within a single frame, a cartoon can recontextualize events and evoke reference points in ways that a photograph or even a film cannot. Like graffiti, jokes and other genres of popular culture, cartoons challenge the ways we accept official images as real and true.

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Muhammad al-Saqr on Kuwait's Press

published in MER180

Muhammad al-Saqr has been editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti daily al-Qabas since 1983. Although he has a business background, the paper’s reputation for balance and accuracy has grown under al-Saqr’s leadership. Al-Saqr was detained and interrogated a week before he received a Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists on October 21, 1992 in New York. Avner Gidron, CPJ’s Research Associate for the Middle and North Africa, interviewed him the next day.

How do people in the Arab world get news they can trust?

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Politics and Media in the Arab World

An Interview with Hisham Milhem

by Joe Stork , Sally Ethelston
published in MER180

Hisham Milhem is the Washington correspondent of the Beirut daily al-Safir. Born in Lebanon, Milhem has lived and worked in Washington since 1976. Joe Stork and Sally Ethelston spoke with him in Washington in September 1992.

What are the salient features of the power structure of the Arab media? Who controls it? Who sets the tone?

Any generalization is problematic. We’ve been involved in journalism in Lebanon-Syria and Egypt for more than a century. That is why the Lebanese, the Egyptians and the Palestinians have been predominant in the Arab press.

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Who Owns the News?

by Sally Ethelston , Martha Wenger
published in MER180


Capital Cities bought ABC, with its 230 affiliated stations, for $3.4 billion in 1986. Also owns: 8 TV stations; 9 dailies, 74 weeklies (Kansas City Star); radio networks with 3,000 affiliated stations; 21 radio stations; a cable programming company; some 60 publications (Women’s Wear Daily, Compute!, Modern Photography). The largest shareholder is Omaha investor Warren Buffett.

Laurence Tisch, owner of Loews Hotel chain (and active in pro-Israel fundraising), bought a controlling share in 1986. Henry Kissinger is a CBS board member. Also owns: 7 TV stations; 21 radio stations; two radio networks.


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Power Structure of the American Media

by Joe Stork , Laura Flanders
published in MER180

media pl. of medium 2. an intervening thing through which a force acts or an effect is produced 3. any means, agency or instrument; specif., a means of communication that reaches the general public and carries advertising.

Webster’s New World Dictionary

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Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

Never Too Soon to Say Goodbye to Hi

by Elliott Colla , Chris Toensing | published September 2003

Despite its deepening troubles in Iraq, the Bush administration maintains an audaciously upbeat outward mien. From George W. Bush’s macho landing on an aircraft carrier in May to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s victory lap around the Mesopotamian battlefields in September, the song Washington sings to the world strikes a chord of triumph. No matter that most people outside US borders, and some within, hear the sound of desperation in the American anthem of the studied positive attitude. If they do not want to bask alongside the US in the afterglow of hasty battle, they must not be listening very well.

Press Freedom in Jordan

by Joel Campagna
published in MER206

Throughout 1997, mounting restrictions on the press in Jordan reflected the government’s broader agenda of masking the widening divide between the state and its domestic political critics. In May, 1997, six months before the parliamentary elections, the cabinet of Prime Minister ‘Abd al-Salam al-Majali promulgated temporary amendments to the 1993 press and publications law that severely restricted the country’s outspoken independent weekly newspapers. The amendments followed nearly four years of legal action against the weeklies, the primary public outlet for independent views about the October 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, the country’s economic performance under IMF-led reform, government corruption and human rights abuses.

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Short-Circuiting the Media/Policy Machine

Lessons for Activists Confronting US Foreign Policy in the Middle East

by Sam Husseini
published in MER208

Media coverage of the February 1998 showdown with Iraq highlighted subtle but significant changes in the relationship between the mainstream media and US foreign policymaking. Although the major media -- despite some alleged soul searching by media professionals [1] after the Gulf war -- have changed little since the pro-war hysteria of 1991, activists are discovering more ways to obstruct the media juggernaut and influence policymaking -- sometimes by actually using the mass media.

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