Arab Spring Media Perception

Topics: Jordan, Yemen, Israel Pages: 32 (12949 words) Published: December 16, 2011
The Arab Spring (literally the Arabic Rebellions or the Arab Revolutions) is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests that has been taking place in the Arab world since December 18th, 2010. Prior to this period, Sudan was the only Arab country to have successfully overthrown dictatorial regimes, in 1964 and again in 1985. To date, there have been revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt; a civil war in Libya; civil uprisings in Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen; major protests in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman, as well as on the borders of Israel; and minor protests in Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Western Sahara. This research paper will focus on the recent uprisings in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Morocco. The revolutions in the Middle East countries aim at attaining freedom and building up a democracy. It is of great interest to nations worldwide to observe how and when they attain freedom and whether they are able to successfully run the country. Media has played a very significant role in the projection of these issues and in shaping public opinion. Media of all countries are covering it, forming different perspectives. The intent of this study is to analyze all the different sides of the story media has been managed to portray. The focus of this paper will be on the media perspective of three different regions-US, Britain and Arab. This study includes the analysis of editorials to explain the stand of newspapers of every region and will also look at the prominent role played by social media.

1. Arab Spring: The Revolutions and Its Impact
The ‘Arab Spring’ refers to the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests that begun in the Arab world since December 2011. ‘Arab Spring’ may also be referred to as the "Arab Awakening" or "Arab Uprisings”. So far demonstrations in two countries have yielded successful results: Tunisia and Egypt. Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Alifled to Saudi Arabia on 14 January following the Tunisian revolution protests, and in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak resigned on 11 February 2011, after 18 days of massive protests, ending his 30-year presidency. The most recent waves of demonstrations that swept the Arab world have been in Syria, Bahrain and Yemen. These are the countries where revolts have received the maximum coverage from the media. A summary of the media coverage of the protests in these countries as well as those in Morocco have been given below.

• Syrian Uprising of 2011
The Syrian revolution is known for its bloody nature. It is the most violent of all the revolutions in the Arab world with the death toll reaching over 1,500. In Syria, protests began in January 2011, and by March 2011, took the proportions of an uprising. The uprising is Syria has been described as "unprecedented." Like the revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt, it has taken the form of protests of various types, including marches and hunger strikes, as well as vandalism of government property and rioting of shops. The Syrian administration led by President Bashar-al-Assad has come under heavy criticism from the international community for letting loose a reign of terror with acts violence being committed against protestors by Syrian security forces loyal to the president. The Syrian government's response to the protests was criticized by The European Union, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and many Western governments.

• Bahraini Uprising of 2011
The 2011 Bahraini uprising is also called the ‘Pearls Revolution’. The revolution in Bahrain is of a sectarian nature to a very large extent. The Bahraini protests were initially aimed at achieving greater political freedom and equality for the majority Shia population. The Bahraini uprising has not lagged behind Syria when it comes to violence. The police response has been described as a "brutal" crackdown on protestors, including doctors and bloggers, many...
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