Special Issue on: =?windows-1252?Q?=91Arab_Reality_TV=92-_?=Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research

Alon Lischinsky alischinsky at gmail.com
Fri Jun 14 10:28:09 UTC 2013

(with apologies for cross-posting)

Call for papers,

Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research
Special Issue on: ‘Arab Reality TV’

Arab satellite TV has witnessed an explosion of reality programme
during the last few years. Across the Arab region, reality programmes
like ‘Arab Idol’, ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’, Star Academy, Super
Star, Star Academy Maghreb, Najm Alkhaleej, Al-Wady etc. have been
popular amongst audiences from different age groups namely the youth.
Such a genre has become a hit with the rise of Rotana and other TV

However, given its potential cultural influence, reality has spurred
controversies since its appearance. It has triggered street riots in
the case of Al-Rai’s (the Arabic version of big Brother shut down in
Bahrain in 2004) which compelled clerics to issue fatwas in the case
of Star Academy in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Islamic clerics warned
that such programmes are nothing but ‘instruments of cultural and
intellectual invasion of the Ummah’ and in another case ‘weapons of
mass destruction that kill values and virtue’.

Other critics argue that reality TV protagonists are not media
professionals, the content of such programmes is superficial and
distracts viewers from serious day-to-day issues. Such genre has also
been received with skepticism about claims of reality they represent.
They are seen as arranged, scripted and to some extent manufactured
reality appealing mainly to the senses.

However supporters called this phenomenon the new thriving public
sphere in the Arab World. Others argue that it was the closest
experience of a democracy the Arab countries have witnessed; a first
real taste of democracy amongst Arab viewers before the Arab Spring
revolution. Such a new genre of TV programming opened up a new area
not only for unusual entertainment but audience participation and

This special issue aims to unpack recent and emerging debates related
to the above in Arab society. Research papers based on empirical
studies are invited regarding (and not necessarily limited to) the
following areas of enquiry:

-                    Developments in the reality TV landscape in the Arab World.
-                    Social media and the increased audience
interactivity with reality TV shows.
-                    Music, taste, and fashion on Arab reality TV.
-                    Criticism and resistance to reality TV programmes
in Arab society.
-                    Reality TV, democratization and the Arab street
-                    Reasons for the popularity of such genre and
areas of impact.
-                    Trends in TV production and audience interests in
the Arab region?


Manuscripts to be considered for publication should be submitted via
e-mail to Noureddine Miladi (Editor) on: noureddine.miladi at qu.edu.qa.
Each manuscript should be between 7000 and 8500 words in main text and
150 words in abstract. All submissions will be blind-refereed.

Please refer to the Submission Guidelines for the Journal of Arab and
Muslim Media Research
(http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals.php?issn=17519411 ) before
you formally submit your paper.

Deadlines for submission:

-                    Abstracts of no more than 300words + author’s
bio:  by 25th June 2013
-                    Full papers: by 30th September  2013
-                    Referees feedback: by 30th November 2013
-                    Expected publication of the special issue: April/May 2014

Contact Details:

Dr Noureddine Miladi
Associate Professor in Mass Communication
Department of Mass Communication Co-ordinator
College of Arts and Science
PO Box: 2713
Qatar University
Office Tel: +974 4403 4872
Editor: Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research
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