Saturday, May 9, 2009
IT Revolution and Old time TV
Today, around 70% of the Egyptians watch more than 500 Arab satellite channels, and more than 30 millions Arabs are connected to the Internet.
Even if nothing of that kind existed two decades ago, it is probably not enough to make a "real" revolution in an area dominated by experienced leaders like Presidents Mubarak and Gaddafi (28 years in power for the former, 40 for the latter).
As already mentioned, the Egyptian impulse was decisive when most of the Arab League States have adopted in February 2008 a document "regulating" satellite broadcasting.
Shortly after that, the Egyptian Nilesat took Al-Hiwar, an independant channel based in London, off the air, and TV shows like 90 Minutes on Al-Mihwar had to end rapidly thanks to police intervention in the studios.
And some days ago, Libia TV, a channel linked to Saif al Islam, Moammar Gaddafi’s son, was unexpectedly nationalised as the Egyptian foreign policy had been violently criticized by the very famous and popular Egyptian journalist, Hamdi Qandil.
Is it still possible to master today’s media just like in the good old times? After its unexpected "nationalisation", Al-Libia thought to moove to places like Amman or Dubai then apparently choose London.
And it would not be surprising to discover that Hamdi Qandil’s shows will still be aired on Al-Libia, or even the Lebanese pro-Hizbollah Al-Manar according to the last rumors.
As usual, here is the link to the more developed post in French.
The picture is from the cover of book on the Arab media recently edited by Tourya Guaaybess and myself.