21C3 Schedule Release 1.1.7

21st Chaos Communication Congress
Lectures and workshops

Picture of Donatella Della Ratta Donatella Della Ratta
Day 2
Location Saal 1
Start Time 19:00 h
Duration 01:00
ID 209
Type Lecture
Track Society
Language english

Freedom of expression in new Arab landscape

Spreading of new Arab satellite TV stations: consequences on public opinions and on state control of freedom of expression

The lecture will deal about freedom of expression in the Arab world after the spreading of new private satellite channels opposing the traditional state monopoly and censorship in TV broadcasting. It will focus on the case study of Al Jazeera being the first Arab TV station to build its editorial policy around “the opinion and the counter-opinion” and the public expression of different points of view, from the very conservative to the ones that are traditionally banned because of their violent opposition to Arab regimes.

The lecture will also analyse to what extent this editorial policy of the Qatari TV station – which has caused many problems for the state of Qatar, including the breaking of diplomatic relationships with different Arab nations, and has caused heavy financial loss to Al Jazeera, due to the boycott of Saudi Arabia rich ad investors - has contributed to the spread of freedom of expression and helped the creation of a public opinion in the Arab world.

Meanwhile, it will underline some profound differences between the Western concept of freedom of expression and the Arab idea of respect of cultural background which sometime has to limit the flow of ideas and information. Last point which will be discussed is the position of the nation-states due to the spreading of this satellite channels and their attempt to control this phenomena opening the Media Free Zones (there are 3 now in the Middle East): a legal and economic model which allows liberalization and privatization of broadcast giving, on the other side, a limited amount of freedom of expression which remains firmly managed and controlled by the government.

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