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The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies is proud to present:
“The Arab Social Media Vortex: Activism and Cyberwar for the Dominant Narrative”
A brown bag discussion with author and media lawyer Jeffrey Ghannam
As the revolutions and protests in the Middle East and North Africa enter their second year, the social media platforms and mobile technologies that helped mobilize mass protests are also enabling a vanguard of citizens, activists, and media outlets pushing the boundaries of free expression. Meanwhile, Arab governments in transition are facing criticism from opposition figures, citizen journalists, and activists emerging from decades of authoritarian rule. The result is a social media vortex that is ever-expanding and gathering speed and an emerging cyberwar for the dominant narratives in a region roiling with protests.
Jeffrey Ghannam is a media lawyer, veteran journalist, and development professional who received a masters of arts from Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in 1988. He has contributed widely to the analysis and debate about the rise of social media in the Arab revolutions and protests for Economist magazine debates, the Washington Post, Chicago Public Radio and Frost Over the World, hosted by Sir David Frost. He is the author of two reports for The National Endowment for Democracy’s Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA): “Digital Media in the Arab World One Year After the Revolutions” published March 28, 2012 and “Social Media in the Arab World: Leading up to the Uprisings of 2011” published February 3, 2011, at the start of the revolutions and protests. He served on the 2012 Freedom House committee analyzing freedom of the press in the Middle East and North Africa. Since 2001 he has served as a trainer and evaluator as well as a Knight International Journalism Fellow in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Qatar. He instructed on the intersection of law and journalism as the Howard R. Marsh visiting professor in journalism at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As a journalist, he was a staff writer and editor at the Detroit Free Press. He also served as a legal affairs writer at the American Bar Association Journal in Chicago, and was on staff at the New York Times in Washington, D.C. He has also contributed to the Boston Globe from Detroit and Time magazine in Cairo. In addition to a master’s degree, he received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University, and a juris doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.
“Digital Media in the Arab World One Year After the Revolutions,” published March 28, 2012
“Social Media in the Arab World: Leading up to the Uprisings of 2011” published February 3, 2011
Public Affairs Coordinator