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In late 2010, Tunisians began protesting the government of then president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali; on January 14, 2011, their protests forced the dictatorial leader to resign. Further democratic uprisings, which came to be known as the Arab Spring, soon spread across the region, leading to the ouster of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. Throughout it all, experts have argued, Arab satellite TV—and especially Al Jazeera—helped to sustain revolutions by broadcasting these events live throughout the Arab World. Al-Jazeera and Arab Revolution tells the story of how the network came to have such influence.
Tracing the emergence of Al Jazeera from its emergence in 1996, Noureddine Miladi contends that the satellite channel began a new era of Arab broadcasting, revolutionizing Arabs’ ideas of the news and even Arab consciousness itself. To support this argument, he draws on a wealth of interviews with relevant journalists, policy makers, and political activists who speak to Al-Jazeera’s impact on public opinion and politics. The resulting portrait depicts a channel that has become an international force in its own right, challenging Arab—as well as some Western—powers and fueling political change in the Arab world.