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Emerging media following the Arab uprisings

Patricia Cruz

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The article “Understanding Emerging Media: Voice, Agency, and Precarity in the Post-2011 Arab Mediasphere” by Yazan Badran from Vrije Universiteit Brussel sought to understand the genesis, development and relevance of the new emerging media organizations in the Arab mediasphere following the Arab uprisings of 2010-2011.

The study builds on the author’s previous work on the field of emerging media in the region. The media organizations featured in the study present a range of different political contexts, mediums, and organizational models.

Central to the study is the concept of voice. Here, it is understood to be the process and ability to engage in self and collective narratives about one’s life, and the conscious valuing of this process. 

It is chosen here in the narrative framework to counteract some of the dominant paradigms of academic research, and allows the author to evaluate the discourses, practices, and structures of the actors, rather than focusing on technocratic notions such as circulation. 

The three aspects the study focuses on are the aforementioned voice, modalities, and political economies. The diversity of the voices in the emerging media sector is a testament to how controlled and sanitized the media landscape was before the uprisings – a move from ‘as if’ simulacrum of presentation to ‘as it is’.

An emblematic example is the rise of Kurdish-language journalism after a state-sanctioned policy of linguicide. Another example is the rise of Tunisian associative media and the articulation of regional marginalization and inequality. 

The pluralisation of media and voices has also brought previously taboo subjects to the coverage, such as sectarianism, gender, and sexual violence. Other matters concerning minorities or displaced people have also been given a voice.

A trend of professionalization can be observed with the emerging new media. From self-expression and self-communication, the new media is becoming more professional – an opposite trend to Castell’s ‘mass self-communication’, a move from professional to the amateur. 

The professionalization is evident in editorial choices and the adoption of journalistic norms and vocabulary, and the emphasis that the journalists of these organizations place on being journalists first rather than citizens or activists. 

The political economy under which the new media operates has been made possible by changes in the society that have made the funding of these ventures possible. Nevertheless, becoming economically self-sufficient is an extremely arduous task.

To allow the emerging media to operate and even provide full-time employment to its workers, media development aid via funding or direct grants plays an instrumental role. The downside of this funding is the suspicion it arouses: the readers might wonder on whose behalf the media is working. Thus the funding impacts the public legitimacy and the organizations have to manage that.

The funding model also creates a power differential between the local media and their international funders that some manage by spreading their donors more and thus being less contingent on any single Western viewpoint.

To conclude, the aftermath of the Arab uprisings has shown a pluralization of voices present in the media landscape. On the level of modalities, there is a diversity in practices but the author argues that the trend is towards professionalization. 

Finally, on the institutional level, the precarity of journalism by large is even more evident here as the organizations have to manage the complex web of legitimacy and financial viability.

The study  “Understanding Emerging Media: Voice, Agency, and Precarity in the Post-2011 Arab Mediasphere” by Yazan Badran is in Media and Communication. (open access). 

Picture: Arab man walking in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region by 

Levi Meir Clancy.

License Unsplash. 

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Journalism

The benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start

Alice Trout

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In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life. Between work, family, and other responsibilities, we often forget to take care of ourselves. This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment. In this article, we will explore the benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start.

Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. By focusing on the present moment, you can calm your mind and reduce racing thoughts.

  1. Improves mental clarity

Practicing mindfulness can improve mental clarity and focus. It can help to clear your mind of distractions and increase productivity.

  1. Enhances self-awareness

Mindfulness can increase self-awareness and help you to understand your thoughts and emotions better. By being present in the moment, you can learn to recognize your patterns of thinking and behavior.

  1. Improves relationships

Mindfulness can help to improve relationships by increasing empathy and compassion. By being present with others, you can develop a deeper understanding of their needs and feelings.

How to Start Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Set aside time

Set aside a specific time every day to practice mindfulness. It can be as little as 5-10 minutes per day to start.

  1. Find a quiet space

Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. It could be a quiet corner of your home or a quiet park.

  1. Focus on your breath

Focus on your breath and the physical sensations of breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and the sensation of air moving in and out of your body.

  1. Be present

Allow yourself to be present in the moment without judgment. Let your thoughts and emotions come and go without dwelling on them.

  1. Practice regularly

Make mindfulness a regular practice. It takes time to develop the habit, but the benefits are worth it.

In conclusion, practicing mindfulness can have numerous benefits for our mental and physical well-being. It’s a simple yet powerful practice that can be incorporated into our daily lives. By setting aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness, we can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental clarity, and enhance our relationships. So why not give it a try? Your mind and body will thank you for it.

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Journalism

How to create a perfect morning routine for a productive day

Alice Trout

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Do you ever feel like your day has gotten away from you before it even starts? One way to combat this feeling is to create a perfect morning routine. Establishing a routine can help you start your day off on the right foot, and set the tone for a productive and successful day. Here are some tips on how to create a morning routine that works for you.

Determine Your Priorities

Before you start creating a morning routine, it’s important to determine what your priorities are. What are the things that you want to accomplish in the morning? Do you want to exercise, meditate, or have a healthy breakfast? Once you have a list of your priorities, you can start creating a routine that includes them.

Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help establish a consistent routine and make it easier to stick to.

Take Time for Yourself

Many people feel rushed and stressed in the morning, but taking some time for yourself can help alleviate this feeling. Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee, taking time for yourself can help you start your day feeling calm and centered.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to start your day, as it can help increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Whether it’s a quick jog, yoga practice, or weightlifting session, try to include some form of exercise in your morning routine.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. Eating a healthy breakfast can help fuel your body and provide the energy you need to start your day. Try to include protein, whole grains, and fruit or vegetables in your breakfast.

Plan Your Day

Taking a few minutes to plan your day can help you stay focused and productive. Make a to-do list or set priorities for the day, and review your calendar to make sure you’re prepared for any meetings or appointments.

Stick to Your Routine

Once you’ve created a morning routine that works for you, try to stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key, and sticking to your routine can help establish healthy habits and improve your overall productivity.

In conclusion, creating a perfect morning routine can help set the tone for a productive and successful day. By determining your priorities, waking up at the same time every day, taking time for yourself, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, planning your day, and sticking to your routine, you can create a morning routine that works for you. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

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Journalism

10 simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in your daily life

Alice Trout

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Stress is an inevitable part of our lives, but it can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. In this article, we will explore 10 such methods that you can easily incorporate into your routine.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity is an excellent way to relieve stress. It helps to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. You don’t have to engage in high-intensity workouts to reap the benefits. Even a brisk walk or light yoga can help reduce stress levels.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can cause irritability, mood swings, and increase stress levels. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel well-rested and refreshed.

Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing can help to calm your mind and body. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes to feel relaxed.

Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Take a walk in the park or go for a hike in the woods to feel rejuvenated.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Set aside a few minutes every day to practice mindfulness meditation.

Listen to music

Music has a soothing effect on our minds. Listening to calming music can help to reduce stress levels. Create a playlist of your favorite relaxing tunes and listen to it when you feel stressed.

Practice yoga or tai chi

Yoga and tai chi are ancient practices that combine physical postures and breathing techniques. They can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Connect with loved ones

Talking to friends and family members can help to reduce stress levels. It can provide a sense of comfort and support during challenging times.

Practice gratitude

Focusing on the positive aspects of life can help to reduce stress levels. Make a habit of practicing gratitude by writing down things you are thankful for every day.

Take breaks

Taking short breaks throughout the day can help to reduce stress levels. Go for a short walk, practice deep breathing or simply take a few moments to close your eyes and relax.

In conclusion, stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. By incorporating these simple yet effective methods into your daily routine, you can reduce stress levels and improve your overall well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself should always be a top priority.

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