Continuing with its theme, Arab Media: Riding out Storms of Change, the concluding day of the Arab Media Forum 2011 provided some insight into how media is expected to evolve in the region following the Arab uprising. In a session entitled, Media in a Shifting Arab World, one of the key changes highlighted by the panel’s speakers was the rise of the “citizen journalist” – the concept of members of the public playing an active role in breaking news, as well as collecting and reporting information to professional journalists.
It was John Lennon who sang: You say you want a revolution/Well, you know/We all want to change the world. There’s no doubt the world has changed in the Middle East, perhaps fundamentally. People are saying there was a time before Tunisia, and now a time after Tunisia. In other words, the peaceful revolution that provoked Tunisia’s leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to throw in the towel and flee to Saudi Arabia has changed everything in the region.
An interesting study has just been released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development arguing that the potential risk for a cyber war is over-hyped. This study, which was reported by theBBC is evidently the first in a series of reports that look at incidents that could cause global disruption. This jumped out to me as a story, as I currently live in a region where tensions run high in some countries, and and indeed the recent Tunisia up-rising has, by some, been referenced as the Middle East’s first cyber war.