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Around the World in 60 Minutes: Middle East and North Africa

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World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Around the World in 60 Minutes: Middle East and North Africa

Some statistics about the region:

  • 86% are Arabic speakers
  • it is the fastest gowing ICT market in the world
  • Arabic is the fastest growing user language online
  • 30% of people have internet access
  • internet usage has gone from 2.5m in 2000 to 60m
  • 32% of internet users on social networks but few in Arabic
  • 11% have watched video on the web
  • 25% have a smart phone

The uprisings in the Arab world have not necessarily achieved their goal of improving freedom of expression, said Alayyan. The economic uncertainties that the revolution brought led to a 50% drop in advertising in Egypt, for example, which has serious financial repercussions for newspapers. “It’s difficult to make money when advertisers have no confidence in what will happen,” Alayyan said.

The press has not yet seen much more freedom in post-revolutionary countries, Alayyan said, but he expects that in the long fun there will be positive change.

Social media has been growing significantly in the region, Alayyan said, but he thinks there was an exaggeration of the effects of social networks on the Arab spring. “What happened was bound to happen, social media amplified what was going on,” he said, rather than being a cause.


Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman


2012-09-03 16:21

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