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Civic Media Lab

Media Diversity, Hybridity and Democratic Transition with speaker Fatima el Issawi

Monttessuy Auditorium 9, rue de Monttessuy 75007 Paris
Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 13:45 to 15:15

In this talk, Dr. Fatima el Issawi reflects on the notions of hybrid media systems, agonistic pluralism, and civic culture, based on empirical research with Tunisian journalists and stakeholders between 2019 and 2020. The study looks at the meanings of media and political diversity/plurality and argues that the relationship between media and politics is interdependent and marked by confrontation and adaption; the uncertainty of the democratic transition in the country is leading to a complex and volatile power struggle in which neither media nor politics have the upper hand in defining the terms of the game. This ambivalent relationship, taking place within a new system of clientelism, has had a mixed outcome on the process of democratic consolidation and on the journalistic practice.

Dr. Fatima el Issawi is a Reader in Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Essex and senior visiting fellow at LSE Institute for Africa; her research focuses on the intersection between the news media, politics and conflicts in transitions to democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. She is the Principal Investigator for the research project “Media and Transitions to Democracy: Journalistic Practices in Communicating Conflicts- the Arab Spring” funded by the British Academy Sustainable Development Program, looking at media’s role in communicating political conflicts in post uprisings in North Africa. Fatima’s expertise crosses journalism, public communication, policy, and academia. She has over fifteen years of experience as international correspondent in conflict zones in the MENA region.

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