Mass Media, Modernity, and Development: Arab States of the Gulf

By Fayad E. Kazan | Go to book overview

Preface

It is an established fact that today's world is increasingly getting smaller and more easily accessible than yesterday's world. This is primarily due to the new revolutions in media technologies that have made the geographical barriers of our contemporary world virtually disappear. Yet, the sociocultural and psychological barriers that divide our world continue to persist and are probably getting stronger than what they used to be. This is not due to the failure of media technologies. Rather it is due to the political, economic and ideological control that is being exercised on media technologies. The powers that be, whether on the national or the international level, that control the media tend to use the latter in a way that would promote and perpetuate their interests even if the promotion of those interests conflicts with the peoples' right to know, with human rights or with the preservation of world peace, as the Gulf war has recently demonstrated.

Whether we like it or not, we are being inundated with streams of information on a daily basis. What we see, hear and read, and what we do not see, hear and read, how we view an issue, and what we even define as an issue is largely determined by those who control the media. The mounting importance and influence of the media vis-a-vis other societal institutions such as the family, the religious, and the educational institutions pose serious implications for societies, especially those in which media monopolies prevail. In such a situation, the direction of social change, including that of modernity and development can be greatly determined by those who control the media. In most of the Gulf region, where the ruling elites enjoy a virtual monopoly of communication, economic, ideological, and of other power resources, the media hegemony acquires serious dimensions.

Side by side with this media hegemony is the dependence of Gulf media on a few Western (mainly American) news agencies and media monopolies. This situation will, most likely, usher in new media and cultural dependencies that might be more serious than the political, economic and military dependencies that already exist between the Gulf countries and the West. This book, the outcome

-xvii-

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Mass Media, Modernity, and Development: Arab States of the Gulf
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xv
  • Preface xvii
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • 4- Findings 121
  • Appendix C The Analysis Tables 255
  • Bibliography 269
  • Index 281
  • About the Author *
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