Rabie Barakat

BIO

I am a first year PhD student in politics at the University of Edinburgh. I did my MA in International Affairs at the Lebanese American University and my BA in law at the Lebanese University. I have worked in the field of news media for over seven years with four different TV channels of various orientations as a reporter, bulletin producer, news presenter, and talk show anchor. The range of my experience includes undergoing an intensive training program with BBC, field reporting during the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, and live coverage from Gaza after the 2009 war and from Libya during the 2011 popular upheaval. I have also made journalistic contributions in written media, by writing analytical articles pertaining to Arab issues for four different newspapers in Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.

Summary of Project

Satellite media represented an adequate space for employing micro notions of discourse (particularly interactive communication) to reconfigure macro notions that relate to power and its sociopolitical representations in the Arab World. It created an Arab public sphere disconnected from state rhetoric and actively cultivated the social dynamics of Arab popular uprisings. Media was a strategic instrument for introducing regional reconstruction. Its leverage was established through extensive coverage, an intense interplay with popular dialectics, and a provocative pattern of discourse aiming to void targeted regimes from their supporting dogma. The Libyan uprising constitutes my case study due to the diverging point it represents in the course of the media/politics interplay. In the Libyan case, media’s soft power introduced military hard power after formulating a general Arab consent (official as well as popular) regarding foreign intervention. Furthermore, it actively engaged in the process of drawing the strategic goals of the uprising, propagating new ruling elites, and even shaping alternative political structures.

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