Joseph Braude’s new book project

by Joseph Braude

- I’ve just begun working on my third book project, which focuses on Arabic media — an area I know about both as a longtime consumer and as a professional participant. Little coverage of the shifting landscape of Arabic broadcasting and publishing is available in English, and most discussions of the subject have been limited to the problems of anti-Semitism and incitement to violence.

The larger story of Arabic media matters too: On the one hand, it’s the story of journalists plying their trade under crushing pressure and death threats, and creative talent spoofing militants and provoking introspection through comedy, soap operas, and music. On the other hand, it’s a case study in strategic communications of utmost importance to Western policymakers: Arabic media is the main platform by which local and foreign political elements influence the public to advance their agendas—and though the US has invested billions in media projects to reach Arab populations, the result has been negligible.

In an engaging style, the book will spotlight the kind of programming that has moved millions and explain its success. It will profile industry players and reveal the often-counterintuitive results of audience focus group findings across the region. And for American policymakers and others who aspire to communicate with an Arab audience, it will offer a uniquely informed strategy to do so more effectively than ever. I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn along the way—via my podcast, Eye on Arabia; in new published pieces, and on this blog.

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