The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics

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  1. The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics
  2. SearchWorks Catalog
  3. Stanford Libraries
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  5. The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics by Philip Seib

Ten years ago, there was much talk about "the CNN effect," the theory that news coverage--especially gripping visual storytelling--was influencing foreign policy throughout the world. Today, "the Al Jazeera effect" takes that a significant step further. The concept encompasses the use of new media as tools in every aspect of global affairs, ranging from democratization to terrorism, and including the concept of "virtual states.

They have a larger popular base than ever before and, as a result, have unprecedented impact on international politics.

The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics

The media can be tools of conflict and instruments of peace; they can make traditional borders irrelevant and unify peoples scattered across the globe. The author also examines how the constant proliferation of perspectives on the Internet, for example, can both mitigate and exacerbate problems of assimilation. Seib constructs an imaginative, thorough and balanced assessment of how news—ever more a dialogue and less an event—is redistributing political power.

View Full Version of PW. The effect described is only called the Al Jazeera effect because the author admits Al Jazeera is the most visible outcome of early 21st century news dissemination. It would be better to call the theory of this book the Internet effect: The results are the first 7 chapters of this book, in a hurried organization more befit for journal papers than a novel. That's not Seib's theory, however. Seib is only telling us the effect of easily-available points and counterpoints in today's dialogue.

Most important of all, Seib offers no new analysis that can't be found in a few New Yorker articles.

SearchWorks Catalog

That's why this book isn't great: Facts are on the internet that Seib is studying; it's insights and connections that we look for in books such as Seib's. We don't find insights here. Aug 04, Amanda rated it liked it. Given my limited knowledge on current affairs in the Middle East, this was quite illuminating as to what extent governments are willing to go to control information, as well as how public opinion is shaped and influenced depending on its source.

Stanford Libraries

Before this book, I had heard of Al Jazeera by name, but I admittedly wasn't clear on what it even was. I was not familiar with Al Hurra either, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out it was an entity borne out of the Bush administration, solely Given my limited knowledge on current affairs in the Middle East, this was quite illuminating as to what extent governments are willing to go to control information, as well as how public opinion is shaped and influenced depending on its source.

I was not familiar with Al Hurra either, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out it was an entity borne out of the Bush administration, solely to play up the American nation in a more positive light. Guess which one the audience identified as being more credible?

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Seib clarifies the concept of Al Qaeda and asks us to consider them not as a unified group but as a network, perhaps even a virtual state. It's an intriguing concept, further backed by details on their organization makeup, connections, and communication methods. It is important to realize that because it is not a mere hierarchy, the network will not dissipate altogether if Bin Laden were eliminated, as simple as some reporters like to make it seem.


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Although the book largely focuses on media influence in the Middle East, he interestingly draws parallels of similar happenings in other countries, such as China, Lebanon, Libya, and so forth, dedicating nearly whole chapters per country. This further propagates the idea that governmental influence and control of information against journalists, bloggers, SMS messages, and the like are not confined to one region of the world. Nov 27, Socraticgadfly rated it it was amazing Shelves: Seib, an insightful political scientist and journalism analyst both, brings both barrels to play in looking at how first, satellite TV, and now, blogs, Twitter, etc.

That includes their impact not just on traditional nation-states, but stateless actors like al Qaeda, and in-between players, quasi-states without borders like Kurdistan. That said, Seib is a realist.

He notes that, while media in Leb Seib, an insightful political scientist and journalism analyst both, brings both barrels to play in looking at how first, satellite TV, and now, blogs, Twitter, etc. He notes that, while media in Lebanon pinned back Syria's ears as part of the Cedar Revolution, it has had little power to change political structures in places like the Gulf kingdoms, Iran or Egypt.

The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics by Philip Seib

In any case, without being explicitly predictive, Seib has good insights for future developments. As part of that, while looking primarily at news coverage issues, he also looks at the financial side, no small matter with the financial backing al-Jazeera, especially, gets. He offers no predictions as to when it will be able to stand on its own two feet, but notes that this too is an issue needing further attention.

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Jan 15, AnnaBnana rated it liked it Shelves: I can't finish this book because the library is making me return it. With that said, I got through half and thought it was really interesting. There are a lot of comparisons drawn between what people once called the CNN effect and what the author is now calling the Al Jazeera Effect.

There is also a lot of fascinating stuff about people in the Middle East wanting to have home-grown as opposed to Western media and all the problems caused because much of the media are not not able to self-sustain I can't finish this book because the library is making me return it. There is also a lot of fascinating stuff about people in the Middle East wanting to have home-grown as opposed to Western media and all the problems caused because much of the media are not not able to self-sustain budget-wise without help from governments.