The Arab Press Network, through the ANDP programme, will be publishing a series of articles about social media tools, and how they are being used currently by journalists. Digg is the fifth social networking tool to be introduced, as part of this series. It is an online network that allows people to share content from anywhere on the Internet and vote on their favourite web finds. It allows users to submit web content they are interested in and to digg (vote for) or burry (vote against) user-submitted content that they come across. The most dugg content appears on Digg's home page where it can be viewed by the most people.
The Arab Press Network, through the ANDP programme, will be publishing a serie of articles about social media tools, and how they are being used currently by journalists. Delicious is the fourth social networking tool to be introduced, as part of this serie. it is a social bookmarking tool, which allows users to bookmark, tag and share websites that catch their interest as they go about browsing the Internet. More
"One of the best things about my job is helping people make their voices heard", says Tinia Nassif, one of three video journalists at AnnaharTV in Lebanon. "I think it is very important to develop video journalism in the Arab world because the Arab countries need to improve; we need to broaden our horizons while still keeping the beautiful traditions that make this culture unique." More
The Arab Press Network, through the ANDP programme, will be publishing a serie of articles about social media tools, and how they are being used currently by journalists. MySpace is the third social networking tool to be introduced, as part of this serie. MySpace is a social networking site which allows users to create networks of friends, maintain a blog, join groups, and share pictures and video. MySpace users are able to personalize their pages using HTML coding, a feature that many other social networking website do not offer. More
"We discuss similar subjects covered by traditional media, but we try to develop them differently", says AnnaharTV videojournalist Joanna Jarjoura. She joined the AnnaharTV team a few months ago, fresh off the school bench. She is an audiovisual arts graduate, and says she was immediately drawn to the idea of producing videos for AnnaharTV.
The Arab Press Network, through the ANDP programme, will be publishing a serie of articles about social media tools, and how they are being used currently by journalists. Twitter is the second social networking tool to be introduced, as part of this serie. It is a social media and micro-blogging platform which allows users to send and read updates, known as 'tweets,' up to 140 characters in length. The success and popularity of this web apparatus has skyrocketed, and it has become one of the top three most used social networking tools, behind Facebook and MySpace. More
"If you post a video on Youtube, it matters if its source is a 70-year old newspaper or an amateur", says Wadih Tueni, IT manager at the Lebanese An-Nahar newspaper. Tueni is convinced that the future of journalism is on the web. In February 2009, he launched AnnanaharTV, the first web TV launched by a newspaper in the Arab region. More
The Arab Press Network, through the ANDP programme, will be publishing a serie of articles about social media tools, and how they are being used currently by journalists. Facebook is the first social networking tool to be introduced, as part of this serie. It is a website which allows users to create profiles, join networks, befriend other users, create and join groups and post events, and become fans of nearly anything imaginable, among a long list of other possibilities. More
Tawasul is the first online network aimed at young Syrian journalists. Part of a series of initiatives by the Syrian branch of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Center For Journalists (ICFJ), the network was created to give a boost to local media outlets. In an interview with APN, Egyptian journalist Mariam Sami - one of the initiators of Tawasul - explains how the network came about and what it hopes to achieve. More
"Most Sudanese haven't even touched a computer in their lives. What blogs can do and already are doing, is that they're slowly enabling observers in places like Darfur to share their experiences with the world, just like how Sleepless In Sudan, used to. Such blogs end up receiving a good amount of attention from the mainstream media for research purposes, and become valuable sources of information," says Sudanese blogger Drima in an interview about the Sudanese blogosphere and the opportunities the Internet provides for people who want to make their voices heard in Sudan and beyond. More
Blogs cannot replace newspapers, but in the Arab world, where the state controls much of the press, their place as a forum for free debate is unequalled, according to Wadih Tueni, head of new technologies for the Lebanese daily An-Nahar. More
Considered one of the few truly independent Tunisian journalists, Tahar Labidi, who currently lives exiled in France, says that President Ben Ali's regime has "militarised new technologies" in order to better control them. Labidi believes that the situation in his country is not very different from that of other Arab countries, and that independent media using new communications technologies do not pose a threat to the press in Tunisia. It's greatest threat, he says, is its own reactionary content, of scant interest to readers and out of touch with the needs and demands of Tunisian citizens. More
Egyptian blogger Mohammed Khaled was looking for music files on his friend's mobile phone last year when he stumbled upon the gruesome video clip depicting two Egyptian police men torturing and sodomizing microbus driver Emad Al-Kabir with an iron stick. The first blogger to upload the notorious footage that sparked an outcry from civil society and resulted in landmark jail sentences for the two officers, Mohammed Khaled continues to blog about the quest for change and a better human rights situation in his country under the pen name 'Demagh Mak' at: http://demaghmak.blogspot.com/. APN met with 'MAK' in downtown Cairo during his last days of vacation before going back to Dubai, where he works in real estate marketing. More
"I have no respect for bloggers who just use blogs to promote negativity, insult cultures, people and sensitivities," says Abdul Hamid Ahmad, editor-in-chief of Gulf News, the first independent English daily in the United Arab Emirates. "There is no true purpose served. Such bloggers should never be encouraged." Ahmad shares with APN his thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of blogging in the UAE and how bloggers and newspapers can work together to inform the public. More
The blogosphere has long played a key role in transforming Egypt's political landscape, with new media formats being exploited by those seeking to challenge the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Now though, some of Mubarak's adversaries are discovering that internet activism can be a double-edged sword, as a new generation of bloggers have begun critiquing the opposition movements themselves. The leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood (or 'Ikhwan'), Egypt's largest opposition group, is currently facing a powerful internal challenge from a young cadre of dissenting members who are finding their voice on the web. More
"Blogs play a much more important role in the Arab world than in the West because of the absence of a free press in the Middle East and the Arab Maghreb," says Michel Touma, chief editor at L'Orient-Le Jour, explaining that in the Arab world, blogs enjoy a greater freedom than newspapers. More
Until 27 November Internet users can elect their favourite blogs, podcasts and videoblogs for the Deutsche Welle Annual International Weblog Awards. Drawing attention to the significance of the blogosphere, Deutsche Welle (DW-WORLD) welcomes online votes for the best blogs of 2008. In its fifth year, the awards known as the BOBs, will acknowledge blogs in 11 languages. More
"Bloggers are inevitable," says Jamil Mroue, likening the popularity of bloggers in Lebanon to a sensible equation: "accessible technology meets individuals willing to invest time to project their opinions." Editor-in-chief of The Daily Star, Mroue speaks positively about Lebanon's growing community of bloggers and sees a future in which newspapers and blogs can find success working together. In a series of articles, APN speaks with newspaper editors from the Arab world about the growing popularity of blogging in their respective countries. More
The new multimedia tools (blogs, Facebook, Dailymotion...) don't seem to have posed much of a threat to traditional media in Algeria. At least not according to Fayçal Métaoui, former editor-in-chief of the El Watan daily and manager of the paper's website. The high cost of computers, electricity, and high speed connections are just some of the reasons for this, says Métaoui. More
Two years ago, Mohammad Al-Abdallah's brother Omar was sentenced to five years in prison by the Syrian authorities for criticizing the policies of his national government on an Internet forumblog. In December last year, Mohammad's father Ali Abdallah was arrested when he called for political reform in Syria as a member of the 'Damascus Declaration', a Syrian activist group urging 'democratic and radical change'. He is still in detainment in Syria's Adra prison and suffers from poor health. Now Mohammad speaks out about human rights abuses, censorship, and political corruption in his home country on his newly started blog "I'm leaving and I'm not coming back". APN met with Mohammed in Beirut. More
Kizzie Shawkat is the pen name of the author responsible for the I Have No Tribe, I'm Sudanese blog. She is a Sudanese woman and student of communications and sociology in Cairo. Born in Sudan, Kizzie grew up in Libya, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and defines herself as an "African pro-choice creative muslim pro-female-education poetic developing tri-linguist anti-racism mad-about-books theatre-lover female." In an interview with APN, Kizzie explains why she blogs and how she hopes it will make the world a better place. More
After months of planning, Kuwait's Public Prosecutors Office (PPO) is set to finalize a bill that will punish 'Internet offenders' in the country. APN spoke with two Kuwaiti bloggers about the proposed Internet Crime and Data Information law, why it is being implemented and how to get around it. More
Web 2.0, audio and video editing, converged content and online media ethics were a few of the topics tackled in a five-day workshop on "Citizen/Online Journalism" that drew eager bloggers seeking to hone their skills in cyber publishing. More
"Citizen journalists report on how the world really is," says Sashi Kumar, Chairman of the Media Development Foundation at the Asian College of Journalism in India. Kumar, along with Nahla Al Shahhal, a freelance journalist contributing to the Al Hayat daily in Lebanon; Ayman Al-Sayyad, editor-in-chief of Egypt's Weghat Nazar magazine; and Jihad Al Khazen, a columnist for the Al Hayat daily in London, spoke with APN about the swell of citizen journalism in the Arab world. More
"In the end, I was simply banned without anyone telling me." In an exclusive interview, Mona Eltahawy, an award winning Egyptian columnist and international lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues, explains why she decided to become an opinion writer. She also shares her enthusiam for the Arab blogosphere and her suspicion of state-controlled media. Eltahawy was a news reporter in the Middle East for many years, as a correspondent for Reuters. More
Haitham Sabbah runs an acclaimed blog on Palestinian issues. Launched as a counterweight to what Sabbah found to be biased and limited reporting on the Middle East in Western media, his blog today gets quoted by the BBC, Agence France-Presse and Slate Magazine on a regular basis. In an interview with APN, Sabbah speaks about the role of blogs in the Middle East, and his own blogging.
Saudi Jeans is one of the most influential blogs in the Gulf region. It is run by pharmacy student Ahmad Al Omran, who through his blog hopes to "be a part of the change that is taking place in Saudi Arabia". Saudi Jeans focuses on topics such as freedom of expression, human and women's rights, as well as democracy and justice. Meet one of the most prominent Arab bloggers.
News photographers in the Arab world are having a hard time making their living. Vague copyright laws and disrespect for the profession are major obstacles, with their work rarely being considered a fundamental element of journalistic work.
Two weeks ago, the freeyemenportal.org website was launched as an effort to circumvent the ongoing censorship of websites in Yemen. The site was launched by Walid Al-Saqaf, founder of the blocked YemenPortal, together with the Mideast Youth electronic network.
In a three-part series, APN looks at Internet censorship in the Gulf countries, the tools used by the authorities and which areas of the Web they target. The third part looks at the heavy Internet censorship reportedly taking place in Bahrain and Yemen.
The online magazine Babelmed, which is devoted to cultural issues on both shores of the Mediterranean, was launched seven years ago in Rome. The magazine, which relies on a network of correspondents in countries bordering the Mediterranean, was published in English and French until two weeks ago, when an Arabic-language version was added. This has been a crucial goal for the editor, Nathalie Galesne, since the launch of the site. In an interview with APN, she explains why the Arabic language is now essential on the Web.
How exactly does sectarianism affect the media in Lebanon? Will media outlets manage to overcome these tendencies to adopt a more modern stance? Could the Internet or pan-Arab media companies contribute to relieve Lebanon of its outdated confessional system? In an interview with APN, Jamil Abou Assi, a Lebanese blogger and research assistant for the Middle Eastern desk at Reporters Without Borders (RSF) discusses these questions.
There is growing government pressure on bloggers throughout the Arab world. However, the unison reply from these members of the online community is that they will not accept to be silenced. Meet some of the most prominent and outspoken bloggers in Egypt, Tunisia, Saudia Arabia and Syria.
In a three-part series, APN looks at Internet censorship in the Gulf countries, the tools used by the authorities and which areas of the Web they target. The second part assesses the situation in Saudi Arabia where over 400,000 websites are reportedly blocked from access.
In a three-part series, APN looks at Internet censorship in the Gulf countries, the tools used by the authorities and which areas of the Web they target. The first part gives a general introduction to the situation in the region and explores where things stand in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
In recent months, at least eight news websites in Yemen have been blocked within the country by the public internet service provider, operated by the Ministry of Telecommunications. The authorities have not offered any explanation to why the websites have been blocked, but in an interview with APN, Walid Al-Saqaf, founder of Yemen Portal, the country's first news crawler and one of three websites blocked on 19 January, claims it is an act of censorship.
Mustapha Hamoui, the author of beirutspring, one of the highest-profile blogs in the Lebanese blogosphere, never wanted to be a journalist. Still, his ambition is to change things through writing. Less than three years after its creation his blog registers as many as 1000 hits a day.
What role do blogs play in shaping the future of the Arab media landscape? How do they work compared to the traditional media - and how are they perceived by these? What do they offer that the traditional media do not? Those were among the topics explored during the 2nd Arab Free Press Forum, which drew independent journalists and media executives from across the Arab world to Beirut, Lebanon, this week.
The Arab world has recently seen the emergence of outspoken bloggers whose critical postings often anger the authorities. In several countries these freedom of expression advocates have been charged with defamation and put behind bars. How do Arab newspapers cope with these new competitors who scorn the market constraints and are able to bypass the governmental anti-free speech arsenals thanks to their anonymity?