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Narrating Conflict in the Middle East (2013) by Dina Matar and‎ Zahera Harb

Narrating Conflict in the Middle East (2013) by Dina Matar and‎ Zahera Harb

Reporting the Middle East (2017) Ed. Zahera Harb

Reporting the Middle East (2017) Ed. Zahera Harb

Events - Talks

The Study Sessions: After Orientalism

Reporting the Middle East: Orientalism as News Practice by Zahera Harb

30 Jan 2018

The Study Sessions are a series of informal reading and discussion groups. The point of departure for this season's series is Edward Said’s canonical book OrientalismMore>>
 
'Reporting the Middle East: Orientalism as News Practice in the 21st century' by Zahera Harb
 
This session will examine the coverage of Arabs and Muslims in the Anglophone media, by examining selected news coverage in Britain and the United States in recent years.
 
The Anglo-American media coverage of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is dominated by news of conflict. There is no doubt that the region has seen many conflicts throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century, from anti-colonial uprisings, to the Arab-Israeli conflict, to the rise of militant religious groups like Al-Qaeda and the self-declared Islamic State (or ISIS), to the Arab “Revolts”. However, the coverage of the MENA region in mainstream Anglo-American media has been impacted by currents of “Orientalism” that re-enforces negative stereotypes and connotations about Arabs and Muslims. The broader media coverage reinforces Islamophobic sentiments in mainstream news discourse and in various sectors of the Anglo-American society, and engenders hate and fear against Arabs in general and Muslims specifically. It argues that Orientalism as a ‘constructed system of knowledge’ has been loosely incorporated into a form of news practice that tends to produce media coverage that is redundant, inaccurate, full of prejudice and amount to being deeply Orientalist, especially when it comes to gender reporting. Journalistic texts are a product of a variety of cultural, social and political factors. Some Anglo-American journalists have a tendency to apply their own personal perceptions, re-emphasising stereotypes of the Orient. The rush to publish or broadcast makes them omit context. Lack of specialised knowledge makes it easier for many to retreat to preconceived perceptions and misunderstandings of the ‘Other’, in this case the people of the Middle East.
 
Reading material:
Harb, Zahera (2017) Reporting Lebanon, Orientalism as News Practice, chapter 4 in Reporting the Middle East, the Practice of News in the Twenty First Century, IB Tauris, London.
 
 
Please note that places for these sessions are limited, if you would like reserve a place please email merce@nottinghamcontemporary.org
 
 
6.30-8.30pm
Free, The Studio
 
 
Dr Zahera Harb was a TV journalist in her native Lebanon for over 11 years, reporting for local and international organisations and anchoring news and current affairs programmes. She has completed assignments for BBC Arabic service, CNN world report and Dutch TV. She still commentates on Media and Politics in the Middle East. A Senior Lecturer in International Journalism at City, University of London, Zahera is widely published on journalism, media and politics in the Arab world. She is the author of Channels of Resistance: Liberation Propaganda, Hezbollah and the Media, co-editor (with Dina Matar) of Narrating Conflict in the Middle East: Discourse, Image and Communications Practices in Lebanon and Palestine and  editor of Reporting the Middle East, the Practice of News in the 21st Century, all published by I.B.Tauris. Board roles include the Ethical Journalism Network and OFCOM’s content board. She is Associate editor of Journalism Practice and member of editorial boards of several academic journals including Journalism and Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication.
 

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