Co-sponsored by the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) and CIGI, this lecture will focus on media in the Arab Spring. Speaker Habib Battah, Beirut-based journalist, filmmaker and media analyst, will be looking at the recent trajectory and developments in transnational Arab media and broadcasting.
As a freelancer with Al Jazeera, CNN, Variety and BBC News, 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, CIGI senior fellow and BSIA professor, 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 changing relationship between public opinion, foreign policy and governance in the Middle East.
Speaker Bio: Habib Battah: Journalist and Media Analyst
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.
Discussant Bio: Bessma Momani
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.
CIGI Senior Fellow Bessma Momani has a Ph.D. in political science with a focus on international political economy and is full professor and interim assistant vice‑president of international relations at the University of Waterloo.