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The News Media at War

The News Media at War

The Clash of Western and Arab Networks in the Middle East

By Tarek Cherkaoui

How can two news networks reporting on the same event produce such vastly different coverage? This book explores the reasons that influenced media narratives surrounding the 2003 Iraq War, and examines the complexities of news coverage of the war against a backdrop of conflicting Orientalist and pan-Arab viewpoints. 

In the book, Cherkaoui reveals how legacies of the past, which divide the world into overly simplistic views of 'us' against 'them', played a role in divergent media coverage of the war produced by major international news networks.

The book explains how U.S. media outlets did not serve their expected role as ‘watch dogs’, failing to critically examine the reasons the government used to justify the war in Iraq. He details how the state ensured pro-war media coverage by taking deliberate steps to control the release of information, and put forward a view of Arabs as a ‘threat’ to the West. These strategies, when coupled with an audience prone to consuming media biases and the rise of for-profit media conglomerates which did not follow journalistic best practices, resulted in reporting from Western media that was vastly different from that of their counterparts in the Arab world.

In the Middle East, news reports presented the war as an unjustified invasion, opposing the perspectives offered by the U.S. government and its military. Broadcasts included input from both sides of the conflict, and journalists had on-the-ground access to developments that their Western competitors did not. While it also acknowledges flaws in the coverage of Arab networks, the book uses these contrasting news reports to highlight the different approaches that were taken, against a backdrop of military-devised information control strategies.

Tarek Cherkaoui is a strategic communication expert and a member of IAMCR.

The above text is from the publisher's description of the book.

Title: The News Media at War: The Clash of Western and Arab Networks in the Middle East
Author: Tarek Cherkaoui
Published: 2015
Pages: 256
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
ISBN: 9781780761046

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