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Developing a Culture of Investigative Journalism in the Arab World

Dates:
  • Thu 22 Jun 2017 14.30 - 16.30
  Add to Calendar 2017-06-22 14:30 2017-06-22 16:30 Europe/Paris Developing a Culture of Investigative Journalism in the Arab World

There is an assumption in Western discourses that independent journalism in the Arab world is impeded by state control alone. Images in the media, like those of journalists sitting behind bars in Egyptian courts, have played a central role in the formation of this vision. Yet Saba Bebawi’s recent book, ‘Investigative Journalism in the Arab World: Issues and Challenges', uncovered that other factors come into play, establishing them as ‘identifiers’ of challenges facing Arab investigative journalism and which can be summed up as: freedom of information, social pressures, journalism education, culture of journalism, political instability, and the funding of investigative journalism practice. This seminar will discuss these identifiers by looking into the extent to which each of these identifiers plays a role in the hindrance or development of investigative journalism in Arab states.

The seminar will also question the extent to which Western models of investigative journalism could help in developing an Arab culture of investigative journalism. When reviewing the historical development of Arab journalism, it can be noted that attempts to liberalise the press and revolutionise methods of reporting were conducted through a Western lens, such as the work of the Amin Brothers in the 1930s and 1940s in Egypt who were advocates of Western-style democracy, Western liberalism, free enterprise, and free press. Although Arab journalism began by borrowing many of the values of Western traditions of journalism, it eventually transformed to become region-specific, strongly influenced by political, social, economic and cultural concerns of local significance. It is questionable therefore whether Arab investigative journalism is being shaped in a similar way: by becoming a form of investigative reporting that is adapting Western teachings and techniques of investigative reporting to practices specific to an Arab culture of journalism.

Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia

There is an assumption in Western discourses that independent journalism in the Arab world is impeded by state control alone. Images in the media, like those of journalists sitting behind bars in Egyptian courts, have played a central role in the formation of this vision. Yet Saba Bebawi’s recent book, ‘Investigative Journalism in the Arab World: Issues and Challenges', uncovered that other factors come into play, establishing them as ‘identifiers’ of challenges facing Arab investigative journalism and which can be summed up as: freedom of information, social pressures, journalism education, culture of journalism, political instability, and the funding of investigative journalism practice. This seminar will discuss these identifiers by looking into the extent to which each of these identifiers plays a role in the hindrance or development of investigative journalism in Arab states.

The seminar will also question the extent to which Western models of investigative journalism could help in developing an Arab culture of investigative journalism. When reviewing the historical development of Arab journalism, it can be noted that attempts to liberalise the press and revolutionise methods of reporting were conducted through a Western lens, such as the work of the Amin Brothers in the 1930s and 1940s in Egypt who were advocates of Western-style democracy, Western liberalism, free enterprise, and free press. Although Arab journalism began by borrowing many of the values of Western traditions of journalism, it eventually transformed to become region-specific, strongly influenced by political, social, economic and cultural concerns of local significance. It is questionable therefore whether Arab investigative journalism is being shaped in a similar way: by becoming a form of investigative reporting that is adapting Western teachings and techniques of investigative reporting to practices specific to an Arab culture of journalism.


Location:
Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia

Affiliation:
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Type:
Meeting

Organiser:
Elda Brogi (EUI - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies)

Contact:
Alessandra Caldini - Send a mail
 
 

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