Mediacafé #8: The Wild Wild East Archive
The representation and the staging of the Arabic revolution
Monday 21 November 2011 - 20:00
More information: www.gegotenlood.eu
De Markten | Oude Graanmarkt 5, 1000 Brussels
Rudi Vranckx, foreign correspondent at the VRT, Tine Danckaers, MO-journalist, who recently came back from a journey to Bahrein and Jemen where the revolution is still going on, Ausama Monajed, a British-Syrian activist who operates via social media and who features frequently on Al Jazeera as a political pundit, will talk about the relationship between the media and the Arab Spring. Erik Aerts, a journalism student at the Lessius Hogeschool in Antwerp who was in Egypt when the riots erupted, talks about his experiences as a starting journalist in the area. Moderator: Björn Soenens (VRT).
The Arabic world is flooded these days by a revolutionary tsunami. Images of furious citizens and rebellious freedom fighters reach us daily via the media. But how are these images and news items created? The regimes in the Middle East have put their jaws into the media. Foreign journalist are forcefully kept away or they're being side-tracked. The information given by state media of the dictatorial regimes is being looked at with (justified) extreme suspicion. Can journalists do their job in these circumstances, and what are the consequences of these difficult working environments for their coverage?
While the violence in countries like Syria, Libya or Yemen continues, the presence of journalists in the area is becoming scarcer. The western media are therefore frequently fed with images from social media. Activists like Ausama Monajed (@Monajed) send authentic images via Twitter into the world, but frequently they are outsiders who operate from the west and use their account to give citizens from Egypt, Syria, Yemen or Libya a voice in the west. Can our media still claim to be objective in this situation? And what about the political decisions that are being made on grounds of this kind of coverage?
And what about us, the audience? Are we like sheep, being manipulated into a certain direction, or not? Do most consumers of media not just want their opinions about the Middle East to be confirmed? How can one form an opinion in this overwhelming news flow in which sources are contradicting each other?
A debate organized in the framework of ‘Gegoten Lood' #2 and in collaboration with Fonds Pascal Decroos, Mediakritiek.be and VVOJ
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