"Covering the Arab Spring" : Middle East in the media - the media in the Middle East : Editorial
As the events usually referred to as ‘the Arab Spring’ unfolded in Arab countries throughout the first half of the year 2011, conventional as well as social media were attributed a crucial role by observers as not only reporting what was going on but also by potentially taking part in mobilizing people for change. The involvement of media in the events raises vital questions about the role of TV, press, and social media in political unrests and how they are used as means to articulate or ignore frustrations of Arab populations. These questions concern the contributions of this special issue that brings together articles from various disciplines describing and analyzing specific cases of media coverage of the ‘Arab Spring’ especially during the first months of 2011 in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria. By offering insights to a set of mediatized spaces in and outside the Middle East during the first months of the uprisings, the aim of this special issue of Global Media Journal – German Edition is to provide a basis for critical reflections with regard to media and opinion formation. Moreover, it aims to discuss research strategies and methodologies which are being applied to the analysis of interaction between media, politics and emerging cultural practices. “Covering the Arab Spring” builds on studies on media in the Middle East and on the perception of the Middle East and Islam in Europe. Thus, the articles refer to a twofold role of the media by connecting research on the role of media in Arab speaking countries with research on media representation of events in these countries.