Coverage in Context

In the 2010-2011 academic year, the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies was awarded funding from the Social Science Research Council to support Coverage in Context, a public online curricular program that supports the training of aspiring journalists in the approaches of interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies.

Over the past decade, interdisciplinary Middle East Studies  has expanded tremendously.  Likewise, and particularly since 9/11, journalistic coverage of the region has skyrocketed.  However, these two growing sets of experts have not been in regular and meaningful communication with each other, nor are there enough programs and curricular materials to support the training of experts conversant in the languages and approaches of both journalism and Middle East Studies. Through Coverage in Context: Media and the Middle East, the Center aim to address these gaps.  In collaboration with the Arthur L. Carter Program in Journalism, the Center co-hosted a five "webisode" series featuring conversations between innovative and media-aware academics as well as experience journalists who have consistently produced coverage of the region within its complex historical and political context(s). Each module addressed the analytical, theoretical, and practical concerns of journalists as well as academics.


The webisodes (taped in 2010-2011) cover five themes:


1) The Past in the Present (Palestine) with historian Zachary Lockman and cartoon journalist Joe Sacco;

On Objectivity and Truth

Visit Joe Sacco's Scrapbook

On Documents and Footnotes

Visit Zachary Lockman's Scrapbook


2) Understanding Identity (Iraq, Jordan, Yemen) with print journalist Anthony Shadid and political scientist Jillian Schwedler;

On Getting The Story Right

Visit Anthony Shadid's Scrapbook

On The Formation and Manipulation of Identity

Visit Jillian Schwedler's Scrapbook


3) Arab Public Opinion with editorial columnist Rami Khoury and political scientist Shibley Telhami

The Arab Street?

Visit Rami Khouri's Scrapbook

Public Humiliation

Visit Shibley Telhami's Scrapbook

4) Authoritarianism and Resistance (Iran) with journalists Borzou Daragahi and Roza Eftekhari and policy analyst Farideh Farhi

Challenging the Narrative

Visit Borzou Daragahi's Scrapbook

Revolution Redux?

Visit Farideh Farhi's Scrapbook

Social Movements and Social Media

Visit Roza Eftekhari's Scrapbook


5) A Changing Middle East with political scientist and blogger Marc Lynch and author/playwright/screenwriter Lawrence Wright

The End of the Old Storyline

Visit Lawrence Wright's Scrapbook

A New Arab Politics

Visit Marc Lynch's Scrapbook



As an extension to these webisodes and working with other partners such as the Center for Religion and Media and NYU Abu Dhabi, we also convened and recorded a series of discussions among journalists, academics, media analysts and producers that delved deeper into contexts such as Afghanistan, Egypt, and Iran.  Through these conversations we navigated a complex landscape of new media and explored the role of religion and gender in shaping today's rapidly changing Middle East.

1) Media, Islam and the New Arab Journalist with Lawrence Pintak (Communications, Washington State University) and Mohamed El-Nawawy (Communications, Queens University of Charlotte)

2) Television, Religion, and Gender in the Afghan Culture Wars with filmmaker Havana Marking, David Edwards (Williams College), and Wazhmah Osman (NYU)

3) Iran on Film: A Forum on Culture, Politics and Daily Life in Documentary Cinema with Negar Mottahedeh (Duke University), Persheng Vaziri (LinkTV), and filmmaker Maryam Khakipour

4) Blogistan and Beyond: Religion, the Internet and Politics in Iran with Annabelle Sreberny (SOAS, University of London), Narges Bajoghli (NYU) and Hamid Dabashi (Columbia University)

5) Tahrir Square, 2012: The Voices of Women and Religious Minorities with filmmaker Viola Shafik and Yasmin Moll (NYU)