Sunday, June 26, 2016


“News, activism and social media: Reporting the Egyptian Revolution and its aftermath by Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, RT and XINHUA”




 
ABSTRACT - PhD thesis
The early days of the January 25th Revolution received unprecedented international media coverage that kept the world’s viewers on the edge of their seats watching the plunge of another corrupt Arab regime, shortly after Bin Ali’s collapse in Tunisia. Toppling Mubarak’s regime was the most significant achievement of the January 25th Revolution, yet events that occurred under the interim military regime that followed Mubarak’s rule also received extensive media coverage. Media focus on the Egyptian Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) was not only because such events, collectively, represented a crucial transitional stage to a new democratic Egypt, but also because of their dramatic nature of re-occurring bloody clashes between the January 25th Revolutionaries and SCAF. As the new military regime, like Mubarak’s, continued to clash with revolutionaries and protesters, social media-equipped activists continued to feed the cyberspace with anti-SCAF content, which was then pitched up and broadcasted by news media to millions of viewers inside and outside Egypt. This thesis focuses on examining the impact of an evolving relationship between news organizations and social media-equipped activists on the coverage of the Egyptian Revolution and its associated events. By examining disparities in news coverage, it explores possible changes in journalism practices, and detects emerging patterns, particularly pertinent to journalist-source relationship and human rights reporting. While exploring possible changes in journalism practices, it also questions whether the existing normative media typology frameworks have been disrupted and as a result would invite media scholars to revise their typology/ macro approach in understanding changes in journalism practices across different media environments. The thesis’ findings have led to identifying three emerging patterns in the coverage: a counter-elite sourcing practice, human rights-centered reporting and a disruption in existing normative media typology frameworks. If these patterns continue to develop and consolidate, they might be seen as early features of a new ear in journalism practices. Using an integrated content-textual analysis, as a primary research method, the thesis analyzes the news coverage of the Egyptian Revolution and its associated events by the Arabic and the English news sites of five international news organizations: Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, RT and XINHUA. Textual analysis is used to look at possible lexical consonance between activists’ entries on social media and the non-attributed lexical choices identified in news stories. The textual analysis is supported by two sets of surveys that target Egyptian activists and journalists to explore their insights about their relationship during the Egyptian Revolution and its aftermath.
                                                  Yomna Kamel

 

Monday, March 02, 2015

“News, activism and social media: Reporting the Egyptian Revolution and its aftermath by Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, RT and XINHUA”

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ABSTRACT - PhD thesis
The early days of the January 25th Revolution received unprecedented international media coverage that kept the world’s viewers on the edge of their seats watching the plunge of another corrupt Arab regime, shortly after Bin Ali’s collapse in Tunisia. Toppling Mubarak’s regime was the most significant achievement of the January 25th Revolution, yet events that occurred under the interim military regime that followed Mubarak’s rule also received extensive media coverage. Media focus on the Egyptian Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) was not only because such events, collectively, represented a crucial transitional stage to a new democratic Egypt, but also because of their dramatic nature of re-occurring bloody clashes between the January 25th Revolutionaries and SCAF. As the new military regime, like Mubarak’s, continued to clash with revolutionaries and protesters, social media-equipped activists continued to feed the cyberspace with anti-SCAF content, which was then pitched up and broadcasted by news media to millions of viewers inside and outside Egypt. This thesis focuses on examining the impact of an evolving relationship between news organizations and social media-equipped activists on the coverage of the Egyptian Revolution and its associated events. By examining disparities in news coverage, it explores possible changes in journalism practices, and detects emerging patterns, particularly pertinent to journalist-source relationship and human rights reporting. While exploring possible changes in journalism practices, it also questions whether the existing normative media typology frameworks have been disrupted and as a result would invite media scholars to revise their typology/ macro approach in understanding changes in journalism practices across different media environments. The thesis’ findings have led to identifying three emerging patterns in the coverage: a counter-elite sourcing practice, human rights-centered reporting and a disruption in existing normative media typology frameworks. If these patterns continue to develop and consolidate, they might be seen as early features of a new ear in journalism practices. Using an integrated content-textual analysis, as a primary research method, the thesis analyzes the news coverage of the Egyptian Revolution and its associated events by the Arabic and the English news sites of five international news organizations: Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, RT and XINHUA. Textual analysis is used to look at possible lexical consonance between activists’ entries on social media and the non-attributed lexical choices identified in news stories. The textual analysis is supported by two sets of surveys that target Egyptian activists and journalists to explore their insights about their relationship during the Egyptian Revolution and its aftermath.









Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Citizen Journalism, Global Perspectives"


I contributed a chapter to volume two of an excellent book on journalism, titled "Citizen Journalism, Global Perspectives", edited by Einar Thorsen and Stuart Allan. The book offers "an overview of key developments in citizen journalism since 2008, including the use of social media in crisis reporting and provides a new set of case studies highlighting important instances of citizen reporting of crisis events in a complementary range of national contexts." 



My chapter, titled "Reporting a revolution and its aftermath: when activists drive the news coverage", offers an attempt to understand the role of social media-equipped activists in driving the news coverage of the Egyptian Revolution and its associated events through a case study that looks at the reporting of five selected news organizations, Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, Russia Today and XINHUA. At least four of the five news organizations included in the study were found to be practicing ‘counter-elite sourcing’, which is commonly associated with alternative media outlets when “they oppose the conventions and representations of the mainstream media” by privileging activists and other marginalized voices over elite and official sources. My study suggests that social media-equipped activists have played a significant role in pushing news media to change its practices; departing from their conventional elite- sourcing routine towards more source diversity and non-elite sourcing practices.

For more about the book:  http://citizenjournalism.me/

Saturday, November 17, 2012

دبلوماسية الحكومة الإسرائيلية المستفزة على تويتر


يشهد موقع التواصل المجتمعي ‘ تويتر‘ هذه الأيام نوعاً جديداً من السجال الذي يصل أحياناً إلى درجة المعارك اللفظية بين عشرات من المستخدمين (المغردين) العرب من جانب وعدد من المتحدثين الرسميين عن الحكومة الإسرائيلية الناشطين على الموقع التواصلي من جانب آخر.
من أشهر الشخصيات الممثلة للحكومة الإسرائيلية على توتير الضابط أفيخاي أدرعي ، المتحدث بلسان جيش الدفاع الإسرائيلي للإعلام العربي،والذي يتجاوز عدد المتابعين له 19 ألف، وتصل نسبة متابعيه من العالم العربي 57% (32% من القاهرة، 10% من الرياض، 9% من بغداد، 4% من الكويت، و2% من أبوظبي)، تعود شعبية حساب أدرعي على تويتر بين الشباب العربي إلى كونه يغرد باللغة العربية، ولا يفوت أي من الأعياد أو المناسبات الدينية إلا ويقدم أدرعي تهانيه للمحتفلين مسلمين كانوا أم يهوداً، كما يحاول من خلال تغريداته تقديم صورة إيجابية مسالمة لإسرائيل محاولاً التقرب من الشباب العربي الناشط على تويتر. في المقابل تتباين تعليقات الشباب العربي على تغريدات أدرعي بين السخرية من تغريداته، والرفض للأفكار التي يطرحها حول سلمية الدولة الإسرائيلية، بينما يكتفي عدد لا بأس به من المغردين العرب بإعادة نشر تغريداته لمتابعيهم.
من تغرديات أدرعي التي استوقفت مؤخراً الكثيرين من الناشطين العرب على موقع التواصل المجتمعي تلك التي انتقدت مسلسلات رمضان التي ارتبطت محاورها الدرامية بالمجتمع الإسرائيلي، كمسلسل ‘فرقة ناجي عطا الله‘ أو تلك التي درات حول قصص الاستخبارات المصرية مثل مسلسل ‘الصفعة‘.
علق أدرعي في إحدى تغريداته حول مسلسلات رمضان قائلاً: "هذه المسلسلات أساءت إلى معاني الشهر الفضيل جاعلة منه وسيلة لبث سموم التحريض ضد أبناء الشعب اليهودي ومواطني إسرائيل." وقد قوبل تعليقه بالسخرية والهجوم الحاد من قبل بعض الناشطين العرب، في حين أُعيد نشره 49 مرة من قبل مغردين غالبيتهم من العالم العربي خاصة مصر. 
كما حملت إحدى تغريداته تهنئة بمناسبة عيد الفطر، قوبلت بتعليقات وصلت إلى 19 تغريدة كانت أيضاً في مجملها (17 تغريدة) ساخرة ولاذعة، وأعاد نشرها دون تعليق 39 مغرد أغلبهم أيضاً من العالم العربي.


الشخصية الإسرائيلية الأخرى الناشطة على تويتر هو أوفير جندلمان، المتحدث باسم رئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي للاعلام العربي،  ويقارب عدد متابعيه على الموقع التواصلي العشرة آلاف، أغلبهم من المغردين العرب، وإن جاءت تغريداته بعضها باللغة العربية وبعضها الآخر باللغة الإنجليزية.
تحمل تغريدات جندلمان – بجانب تصريحات رئيس وزراء إسرائيل المترجمة إلى العربية والإنجليزية - رسائل سياسية (ودينية) مستفزة للعرب مثل :"الى المتطرفين الذين يشتركون في فعاليات يوم القدس: سنبقى على أرضنا التأريخية وفي عاصمتنا الأبدية أورشليم القدس. اسرائيل قوية وقادرة على سحق أعدائها." والتي أثارت غضب عدد من المتابعين العرب وتحولت التعليقات إلى نقد لاذع تجاهله جندلمان.
لا شك أن تواجد شخصيات ممثلة للحكومة الإسرائيلية على موقع التواصل المجتمعي ‘تويتر‘ وحرصهم على التغريد باللغة العربية يعكس رغبة إسرائيل في التواصل مع جيل جديد من الشباب العربي الناشط على شبكة الانترنت والذي لعب دوراً أساسياً في اسقاط الأنظمة العربية فيما يُعرف بالربيع العربي، كما يعكس محاولة الكيان الإسرائيلي - والتي تبدو في الغالب غير ناجحة - الظهور بشكل سلمي متسامح مع الثقافات والديانات الأخرى.
ورغم لغة الرفض والاستهجان الواضحة في تعليقات المغردين العرب على تغريديات الشخصيات الحكومية الإسرائيلية إلا أن التواصل المباشر بين الطرفين يعد السابقة الأولى من نوعها بين ممثلي حكومة إسرائيل ومواطنين عرب يرون في ذلك فرصة لإظهار مواقف الشعوب العربية بعيداً عن المواقف الرسمية للحكومات العربية، كما يحمل تواصل الشباب العربي الناشط على تويتر مع ممثلي الحكومة الإسرائيلية ما يراه البعض جراءة التواصل العلني مع العدو دون خشية التعرض للمسائلة الأمنية أو الاتهام بالتخابر مع جهات أجنبية.

 

 التوزيع الجغرافي لمتابعي حساب أفيخاي أدرعي على موقع تويتر (باستخدام برنامج  simply measured)

يمنى كامل/Yomna Kamel 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Complexity of Media Impartiality

Photo source: http://www.pbs.org


News organizations professing professionalism are keen to establish themselves as independent impartial platforms where panoply of views is fairly presented. In their codes of ethics and editorial guidelines, news organizations willingly (and in some cases as a legal requirement)[1] emphasize their practice of ‘impartiality’ along with other values such as accuracy, objectivity, factuality, and informative-ness. Yet, very few actually do elaborate on impartiality, as a journalistic value and as a practice; failing to clearly explain ‘how to be impartial’ and how to assess impartiality through “specific evaluative criteria or methodologies.” (Stavitsky & Dvorkin, 2007)

While ‘impartiality’ is an established tradition (at least in theory) of news media in most countries of the West, whether voluntarily through news organizations’ codes of ethics, or involuntarily as a legal requirement, news organizations in developing parts[2] of the world, including the Arab countries, lack the inclusion of impartiality in their editorial guidelines and arguably in their practice.[3] In an exceptional democracy like Lebanon, practicing impartiality is required by law and it is closely monitored around elections’ time. In 2002, the Lebanese Channel, MTV, was ordered by court to fold for chargers of “promoting a parliamentary candidate, its owner Gabriel, violating rules prohibiting campaign advertising in the final stretch of an election race.” (NCEL, 2006) Most Arab-based international news organizations seem reluctant to explicitly state the word ‘impartiality’ in their editorial principles and guidelines. The Qatari owned international news broadcaster, Al-Jazeera, for instance, puts ‘impartiality’ rather implicitly in its published code of ethics which says: “Present the diverse points of view and opinions without bias and partiality”. Al-Jazeera’s Code of Ethics, which is published on its website, lists the principles without much elaboration on the practice of such principles. “Al-Jazeera television is not subject to the full requirements of the Broadcasting Act. The channel can only be regulated by the ITC under the EU’s Television without Frontiers Directive. It can be regulated for incitement to violence but not for impartiality.” (IPPR, 2001)

Nevertheless, the very few news organizations, such as the BBC and Australia’s SBS and ABC, which provide a more detailed version of impartiality guidelines have not helped much by creating what is called ‘due impartiality’[4] through which it (the BBC) sets itself free from practicing “absolute neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic principles.” (BBC, 2012)

Whether it is the BBC’s ‘due impartiality’, that gives a room of flexibility to the practice of neutrality, or it is Al-Jazeera’s implicit reference to ‘impartiality’, both make it even more difficult to predict how impartiality will be practiced in two possibly re-occurring settings:  when covering wars/conflicts where the country of the news organization is involved, and when covering internal conflicts in countries striving for democracy.

Media Impartiality at War time

During the Iraqi war, Richard M. Bridges, a retired US army colonel, published an article in the US Army Magazine titled “‘Maintaining Impartiality in War Reporting: Imperative or Impossible?’ Bridges started his article by pointing out that neither CNN nor Al-Jazeera were impartial in covering the Iraqi war. “While CNN-International smarted under the criticism of Arab countries for its pro-coalition news coverage during the latest Iraqi conflict, Qatar-based Al-Jazeera suffered charges of pro-Saddam Hussein coverage from coalition countries and liberated Iraqis.” For CNN, by having the station’s reporters embedded with the coalition troop, it was likely that their objectivity had been affected.  “Embedded reporters, if left with a unit for any length of time, naturally become part of the unit as they get acquainted with its members over time and experience the horrors of war shoulder to shoulder with the soldiers.” (Bridges, 2003) Bridges recalled hearing CNN’s Walter Rodgers using the word “we” and he thought this confirmed the benefits embedding journalists bringing to the military. Yet when it came to impartiality, he said it “is something that the anchors and editors, who are trying to create a big picture view of the conflict through the reports of embedded reporters, are obligated to achieve, but not something those individual reporters in the field are likely to be able to do.”

Bridges also recalled watching on a CNN-International panel suggesting “that if the nation is in a war for its survival, such as Britain during the Blitz, then the nation’s reporters have every right to report the government’s side of the conflict and ignore the enemy’s…but the conditional nature of this degree of impartiality would also be a little difficult to regulate. Who would define the point at which survival was in question?” (Bridges, 2003)

Media coverage of the war in Iraq in 2003 was analyzed by Kai Hafez, a researcher with University of Erfurt in Germany, with the purpose of finding out if a country's participation in war has made a difference to their respective media systems and if impartiality and objectivity would still be endorsed in a country that goes to war? Hafez noted that “CNNI was surely not completely balanced.” He analysed the coverage of one afternoon on CNNI to find out that “it was packed with voices from the pro-war forces.” “Although that same day there were big demonstrations all around the world against the war, anti-war voices were almost absent from the program or reduced to little news slots.” (Hafez, 2004)

Commenting on the US networks’ coverage of the war, the BBC’s Chief, Greg Dyke, said that they not only revealed a clear pro-American bias, but that many of them were outright patriotic and heated up public opinion.” (Hafez, 2004)
Contrary to CNN’s partial (pro-US) coverage of the Iraqi war, the BBC during the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956 willingly[5] fought another battle to protect its impartiality against pressures of patriotism and national interest practiced by the UK government. During the Suez Canal Crisis, when Britain, France and Israel, attacked Egypt following Egyptian President Nasser’s decision to seize the canal and bring it under Egypt’s control, BBC came under fire from the UK government headed by Sir Anthony Eden.  Eden, as the Prime Minister, was given time by the BBC to speak and justify the attack against Egypt. The BBC also gave time to Hugh Gaitskell, the head of the opposition, to talk against the attack. In giving airtime to both sides, the BBC wanted to simply practice impartiality.[6] But, “It brought the accusation from Eden that the BBC was betraying the nation at a time of crisis.” (Rawlinson, 2003 & Shaw, 2009) Such an accusation of betraying the nation might have been escalated and become more serious if the BBC had given time, for example, to the spokesperson of the Egyptian Government, an enemy at that time, but surprisingly the ITV took this extra step in 1982 when it interviewed the Argentinean leader General Leopoldo Galtieri, and was heavily criticised for giving voice to enemy. (Elstein, 2003)

In a seminar titled “New News: Maintaining quality, impartial broadcast news in the UK at war and at peace, organized by the Institute for Public Policy, Richard Tait, a former editor with the BBC and the current Editor-in-Chief of ITN said, “If you are a British broadcaster, you are in British society. The public does not expect British broadcasters to be absolutely impartial in times of war.” (IPPR, 2001)

But then again, the same impartiality gave BBC a ground to stand on: “During the 1982 Falklands when the government of Margaret Thatcher sent a military force to recover a group of islands in the South Atlantic, the BBC’s chairman and director-general were howled down at a meeting with Conservative MPs after BBC news broadcasts had declined to simplify combatant status into crude “them” (‘Argies’ or Argentineans) and “us” (Brits).” (Elstein, 2003)

Then, how impartiality is put into practice under such circumstances? How do news organizations practise impartiality when their own country is part of the war, invading or being invaded? Perhaps as David Elstein, Chairman of Open Democracy and the Broadcasting Policy Group, said, “The state broadcasters, caught in the crossfire between expectations of impartiality and the exigencies of modern war reporting, found themselves inadvertent combatants in the struggle for public opinion.” (Elstein, 2003)


Media Impartiality, Democracy and Human Rights

The second setting where the practice of impartiality deemed complex is in covering internal conflicts in countries striving for democracy, where human rights are violated, violence is committed against political activists, and freedom of speech is limited or even doesn’t exist. In the absence of local media that is free and capable of reporting such violations[7], international news media organizations take charge. In a published interview with the International Council on Human Rights Policy, the President of the United States National Endowment for Democracy said, “We are living through an age when democracy and human rights are on the agenda, everywhere. People are demanding their rights. People are demanding governments based on democratic and legal principles. So naturally, much foreign news reporting is concerned with human rights issues.”  (The International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2002)

However, international news media coverage of such circumstances is often affected by two variables: ideologies dominant in their own societies versus ideologies of other societies they cover; (for example democracy versus communism or democracy versus authoritarianism) and how distant or proximate their reporters/editors are to the reality of human rights violations.  

The 1990s witnessed a wave of democratizing of Eastern European countries where communist regimes collapsed one after another and in 2011- 2012, the world has witnessed another wave of democratization of the Arab region that took down four Arab dictators so far. Foreign (transnational) news media organizations played, in both instances, active roles that were not only limited to covering the crucial events of the collapsing regimes, but contributed - to a great extent – to the creation of contagious revolts. Such a (widespread) idea makes it important to question the impartiality of such international news organizations.[8] As mentioned earlier, ideologies dominant in their own societies could create ‘ideologically constrained impartiality’; when “There are circumstances in which impartiality would be inappropriate, or should be attenuated notably, in cases where democratic values are judged to be under attack. This permitted derogation has proved controversial in the BBC’s past reporting of civil or international conflicts, such as the Troubles in Northern Ireland or the Gulf War, when deviation from impartiality was seen as justified by the BBC, because the opposing side was defined by the state as an enemy of democracy.” (Flood, Hutchings, Miazhevich, Nickels, 2010)

Beside ‘ideologically constrained impartiality’, emotional/human distance or proximity of reporters/editors to the reality of human rights violations is another factor affecting their impartiality. In closed regimes and under dictatorships, sensitivity grows at times of tensions towards international news organizations whose correspondents are usually denied access (visa) to these countries. Local reporters and citizen journalists appear to be an alternative to their ‘international’, professional journalists.[9] International news organizations’ dependency on local reporters and citizen journalists who live under dictatorship and who might be themselves victims of human rights violations puts their impartiality in question.
Looking at media coverage of the ongoing uprising in Syria, Mona Naggar of Doha Center for Media Freedom says, “Independent reporting is almost impossible. Foreign media such as Al Jazeera or BBC, base their coverage on videos shot by demonstrators or local residents and conduct telephone interviews with people on the ground. On the ground in Syria, Al Jazeera's offices have been shut, its journalists are threatened and one web journalist, Dorothy Parvaz, is being detained since her arrival at Damascus airport.”  
A study by the International Council on Human Rights Policy stated that “Few journalists would claim to be impartial between the victims and perpetrators of human rights violations.” Ghanaian journalist and academic, Kwame Karikari, believes that journalists do report on human rights in an overtly partisan way as part of a general movement for more freedom in their societies. “The reason for this partisan approach is probably the fact that many journalists in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe were themselves recently participants in struggles for human rights.” (The International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2002) Hossam Al-Hamalawy, an Egyptian journalist and a blogger, has put it quite straightforward when he said, “In a dictatorship, independent journalism by default becomes a form of activism, and the spread of information is essentially an act of agitation.”


Complex Impartiality and the Way Forward

With so much complexity surrounding ‘impartiality’ as a journalistic value and as a practice, the Economist published an article titled ‘Impartiality: The Foxification of news’ where it argued that impartiality is “the exception rather than the rule” and stated that  many European and non-European media are not impartial. “State-run television channels often have partisan allegiances: Italy’s three state channels are each aligned with specific parties, for example…In India 81 of the 500 satellite-TV channels that have sprung up in the past 20 years are news channels, most of them catering to specific political, religious, regional, linguistic or ethnic groups.”  (The Economist, 2011)

Caroline Thomson, the Chief Operating Officer of the BBC also said, “A BBC Trust report recognized that in today’s Britain, with all its cultures, beliefs and identities, impartiality is no longer simply a “seesaw” balancing one side of a clear argument against another. Achieving it in our increasingly complex society requires even more than the usual mixture of accuracy, balance, context, distance, even-handedness, fairness, objectivity, open-mindedness, rigor, self-awareness, transparency and truth. It requires breadth of view and completeness. It is often achieved by bringing extra perspectives to bear, rather than limiting horizons or censoring opinion.”[10]

And if impartiality is that complex and seems to be “the exception rather than the rule”, the Economist’s piece points out to Jay Rosen’s [11] suggestion “to abandon the ideology of viewlessness and accept that journalists have a range of views; to be open about them while holding the reporters to a basic standard of accuracy, fairness and intellectual honesty; and to use transparency, rather than objectivity, as the new foundation on which to build trust with the audience.” (The Economist, 2011)


           Acknowledging the limits of objectivity,George Orwell (English novelist and journalist) never suggested in his reporting on the Spanish Civil War that he was anything but a supporter of the Spanish Republic, and his reporting acknowledged that he aided, as activist and soldier, this side. Yet he was truthful, and part of the reason is the openness with which he acknowledged the limits of his objectivity.” (The International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2002)


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The National Commission on Electoral Law(2006) ‘The Media situation in Lebanon’,
UNDP (2011) Human Development Index and Its Components http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Table1.pdf
Ward, S.J.A. (2010) ‘Global Media Ethics’, Center for Journalism Ethics, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison





[1]“Impartiality for the BBC is not in question. It is a given – a legal requirement, just as it is for other broadcasters in Britain.” (From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century, BBC Trust)
[2] According to UN Human Development Index 2011, three Arab countries (UAE (30), Qatar (37) and Bahrain (43) are among the top 50 most developed countries in the world.
[3] “The credibility of the news writers and political columnists in the media tends to be lower than in the West. They are frequently suspected of being politically motivated rather than professionals dedicated solely to accurate, factual reporting and enlightenment of the public” (Rugh, 2004)
[4] The requirement to show `due impartiality' was incorporated in the BBC Licence in 1996 and prior to that date; the BBC had voluntarily accepted the obligation. (Barendt, 1998)
[5] It is only after 1996 when impartiality has become a legal requirement for the BBC.
[6] “Al-Jazeera’s Yosri Fouda argued that the World Service’s reputation in the Arab world was established with its impartial coverage of the Suez crisis and he believes that this perception continues and has been maintained throughout the present conflict.” (IPPR, the Institute for Public Policy Research news summit in 2001)
[7] John Sweeney, a leading feature writer at The Observer says,“I consider myself a human rights journalist. I tell stories people, including powerful people, do not want told… I must use my freedom [as a British journalist] to say things local journalists cannot say.” (The International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2002)
[8] “The view that Western mass media played a major role in the demise of communism is widespread… Western mass media covered crucial events in communist countries, playing them back to domestic audiences behind the Iron Curtain.” (Kern, 2007)
[9]The so-called Arab Spring has been described as an electronic revolution. Protesters were turned into citizen journalists - taking frontline images on their mobile phones and uploading them via their computers for the world to see. The regimes may have jammed the signals of satellite news channels and banned international reporters from entering their country, but they were unable to prevent citizens from becoming reporters in their own right.” (Al-Jazeera, 2011)
[10] New Statesman Debate, August 31st, 2009
[11] Jay Rosen is Chair of New York University’s Journalism Department


                                                                                                           Yomna Kamel