North Africa and the
This is a difficult area to define. The regional grouping used by UNESCO, "the Arab States," covers most of the area and has the advantage of representing a certain uniformity of religion, culture and language. However, the Middle East is generally considered to include a number of non-Arab nations, such as Iran, Israel and Turkey, the last being particularly hard to place, as it lies between Asia and Europe. Consequently, for the purposes of this study, the region is divided into the Middle East, which includes both Arab and non-Arab states, and North Africa, which includes the former French possessions, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, and Egypt, Libya and the Sudan.
Virtually all countries in the region are part of the developing world, but the presence of oil makes for a wide variety of income levels. Media systems reflect this economic diversity but are also affected by differences in political, social, educational and cultural structures. Religion is a particularly strong influence in some countries. On the whole, there is no great shortage of training facilities in the region, but there is a chronic shortage of properly qualified educators and appropriate teaching materials, particularly in the Arab countries. At some time in the past, the training programs of most countries in the region have been strongly influenced either by French or by American and British educational traditions. More recently, powerful nationalist and Islamic tendencies have also begun to have an effect.