Al Jazeera Centre for Studies (AJCS) and the University of Cambridge are organising a joint academic conference entitled "Media in Political Transitions: The Cases of Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia" at City Centre Rotana Doha on 7-8 January 2017.
The conference is the culmination of a three-year research project between AJCS and the university. Researchers from Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia will present the outcomes of their studies, and a group of experts and professors of media from various Arab and foreign universities will discuss their presentations.
One of the highlights of the conference is the examination of the relationship between power and the media in the three countries, and the nature of the media industry itself in terms of public and private institutions, characteristics of the market in which they operate, sources of funding, the political agenda of the media and the professional standards that characterise media performance. The presentations will also review the role and behaviour of media as narrator of political culture and a tool for public discourse and identity building, particularly in the post-2011 era.
This research project was launched in 2013 under the title, "Media in Political Transition: Tunisia as a model", focusing on the change that took place in the post-revolution media landscape in Tunisia. The first phase concluded with a book published by AJCS under the same title. Other works in this phase were also published in English in The Journal of Modern African Studies. In 2014, the second phase of the project started with the aim to conduct similar research on media in political transition in Morocco and Turkey.
The project is a comparative study of media systems in the countries of the Mediterranean region based on three research themes i.e. the structure and function of agency and problematic issues such as internet freedom and censorship, political narrative, social media use, gender issues on television and within the larger public sphere, the professionalism and partisanship of the sector, the rise of Islamic media and the internal competition of political elites that utilise the media for particularistic purposes.