40. Name: Daniela Conte Title: Media Diplomacy: The Arab Satellite Revolution’s Effect on the Relationship between the West and the Arab World (the Cases of Al Jazeera, Al Hurra, France 24, Deutsche Welle, BBC Arabic, and Rusiya Tody) Institution: IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca Country: Italy Date: 2009 Language: Italian Abstract: This study is based on the assumption that the role of media in the relationship between the West and the Arab world has increased significantly during the last 15 years, particularly after the birth of Al Jazeera in 1996. Today, hundreds of television channels and radio stations replaced the unilateral flow of information typical of the previous era, from the West toward the Middle East and North Africa. Thae data collected through interviews for this study demonstrate how this phenomenon had enormous impact on public diplomacy, the communication process between governments and their relationships with national and international public opinion. The study analyses the following cases: Al Jazeera, Al Hurra, France-24, Deutsche Welle, BBC, and Russia Today. The results identified political elements in terms of affiliation, government sponsorship and political agenda in all these channels. Besides the differences in editorial policies and the ability of each channel to catch the attention of audiences, the study distinguishes between channels that are closer to the classic concept of public diplomacy like Al Hurra, and Al Jazeera, which presents an effective example of modern media diplomacy.
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