Transformations in the Arab media landscape are a key element in regional dynamics of political change. Where do private owners of Arab media outlets stand on the scene? What part, if any, have they played in weakening dictatorships, countering sectarianism and political polarisation, and reforming business practices in the Arab world? Arab Media Moguls charts the fortunes of some leading media investors and entrepreneurs from Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia to examine their motives, management styles, financial performance and links to political power. The resulting profiles offer intriguing insights into the place of family, education, religion and media regulation in regional power structures.Globally, the rise of small digital media, increased competition law and the precedence of more digitally-savvy younger generations have fuelled doubts as to whether the archetypal 'media mogul' is a phenomenon with a future. How do such factors affect power plays in Arab media? Responding critically to existing Western scholarship and commentary on magnates in US and European media, this book explores how far existing assumptions and perceptions about powerful media owners' eccentricity, innovation and risk-taking apply in the Arab context and offers a range of alternative approaches to understanding the central position of certain individuals in the fast-changing Arab media business.
Naomi Sakr is Professor of Media Policy at the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), University of Westminster, and Director of the CAMRI Arab Media Centre. Her publications include Arab Television Today; Satellite Realms: Transnational Television, Globalization and the Middle East; Transformations in Egyptian Journalism and Women and Media in the Middle East (all published by I.B.Tauris).Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of Defining Islam for the Egyptian State: Muftis and Fatwas of the Dar al-Ifta and (with Bettina Graf) The Global Mufti: The Phenomenon of Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.Donatella Della Ratta is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. She holds a PhD from the University of Copenhagen.
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