Journalism & Communication
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Female Media in the Middle East Sakr (2004) argues in Women and Media in the Middle East that historically and in general, elitist governments have utilized popular media to convey Nationalist sentiment. Furthermore, Government-owned media outlets until 1990, precluded the broadcasting of political opposition, freedom of expression, and refused to provide media space for the purpose of debating popular topics (Sakr, 3).


I. A Brief History of Media in the Middle East and the Origins of the Female Presence From a historical standpoint though, Middle Eastern media dates back to the early 1800s. During the times of the Ottoman Empire and Qajar Iran to name but a few, media in official and private arenas began to take shape (Fortna, 97). Although Middle Eastern media at this time was largely financed by subscription and advertisements, it became a popular tool in the transmission and dissemination of cultural/technical works – largely aided by the newly imported printing technologies from European nations (Fortna, 97). However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century when media became a professional occupation, that the power of media (writing, journalism, and illustrations) was fully harnessed. By 1925, print and roving journalists had begun creating teams, to comment on the popular media of the day – radio and cinema (Fortna, 97). Regarding the first notable female presence in Middle Eastern media, it appears that this is not well documented and varies greatly depending on the type of media. For example, since the inception of Aziza Amir’s first Arabic feature length film in 1927, females have been permitted to make and direct films (Skilli, 48). ...
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