Waterloo, Canada – June 12, 2012  – Amid the changing political and media landscape in the Arab world, a leading journalist from the region will discuss media coverage of the Arab uprisings, when he addresses a Waterloo audience and global webcast.

For a better understanding of the emerging political and media issues in the Arab world, the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) and The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) are presenting journalist Habib Battah in conversation with Middle East expert Bessma Momani, who is a CIGI senior fellow and BSIA professor.

Battah is a Beirut-based journalist, filmmaker and media analyst, who has provided freelance coverage for Al Jazeera, CNN, Variety and BBC News. At the Waterloo event, Battah will be looking at the recent trajectory and developments in transnational Arab media and broadcasting. He will consider how changes, from trends in news and entertainment production to media ownership and new technologies, have impacted the social and political sphere in the Middle East, both before and after the Arab Spring.

Joined by discussant Bessma Momani, they will discuss media as a state-tool, the history of media development in the Middle East, and the proliferation of new Arab and Western media outlets in the region as an influencer of the changing relationship between public opinion, foreign policy and governance in the Middle East.

The public event, “Broadcasting Revolution: How media have influenced the Arab uprisings” will take place from 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, June 14, 2012, at the CIGI Auditorium at 67 Erb Street West in Waterloo. Members of the public who want to attend can register by visiting http://broadcastingrevolution.eventbrite.ca/?ebtv=C. Those who are not in Waterloo, or who want to watch the lecture from home can view the free, live webcast by registering
through the same link.

Member of the media are invited to attend this event by registering in advance with CIGI Communications Specialist Declan Kelly at [email protected].

WHAT: Broadcasting Revolution: How media have influenced the Arab uprisings

WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, June 14, 2012

WHERE: CIGI Auditorium, CIGI Campus, 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo:


Habib Battah (speaker): For several years, Habib Battah, a Beirut-based journalist, filmmaker and media critic, has been covering Arab media for publications and broadcasters in the West and in the Middle East. He has focused mainly on social impact and public diplomacy at pan-Arab satellite stations, including the major Arab Gulf networks Al Jazeera, Al Arabia and others, as well the increasing number of Western and Asian state-backed outlets now broadcasting to the region in Arabic.

On a local level, he has covered Lebanon’s media scene extensively both as a production hub and political platform, and has written on mainstream and social media in Syria and Egypt in relation to the Arab Spring. His focus is strongly on the approach of looking at broader Arab region trends in terms of the media, society and politics.

Bessma Momani (discussant):  Bessma Momani is a CIGI senior fellow, non-resident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution and professor of political science at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. A frequent commentator to the media, she is a global governance expert in Middle Eastern foreign policy and international financial institutions.

Declan Kelly, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7356, Email: [email protected]

The Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) was launched in 2007 to offer graduate programs in global governance and international public policy. The Balsillie School is a collaborative initiative of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the University of Waterloo (UW), and Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier).  With over 60 affiliated faculty teaching in the three programs, the Balsillie School will build on the current programming of the PhD in Global Governance (joint UW/Laurier), the MA in Global Governance (UW), and the Master’s in International Public Policy (Laurier).

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIM), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org.


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