The Second Edition
Al Jazeera Center for Studies is preparing for the publication of the second edition of Academic Research on Al Jazeera: A Guide for PhDs, Masters & Books and invites those interested in including their academic work (doctoral and masters theses, and published research) on Al Jazeera to get in touch with Sara Nasr at NasirS@aljazeera.net.
The First Edition
Al Jazeera Center for Studies published a new book entitled Academic Research on Al Jazeera: A Guide for PhDs, Masters & Books 1996-2011 prepared by Sara Nasr and supervised by Ezzeddine Abdelmoula, a researcher at the center.
Al Jazeera Centre for Studies is pleased to present to its readers this compilation of over two hundred academic works attending to Al Jazeera, whether as a central research topic or in the context of comparative studies with other global channels and networks. We chose to allocate the three chapters of this guide to doctoral theses, master theses and books written about Al Jazeera since its launch in 1996 up to its fifteenth anniversary in November 2011.
This unprecedented effort seeks to accomplish two goals. First, introducing as many of academic research about Al Jazeera as possible. Each of these works, which have been conducted in different universities around the world, will be presented in the form of basic information along with a short abstract. We believe that these details will help students and researchers alike with valuable information regarding the current research on Al Jazeera so they build on the existing literature rather than replicate it. Second, we hope that, by shedding light on this enormous and increasing amount of research, this guide will benefit Al Jazeera itself. It informs the network's staff as well as executives of the magnitude of its presence within the academic sphere. It is so interesting to see how Al Jazeera is perceived, researched and portrayed by an influential community such as the academics.
The reason why we have called this volume a "guide" is twofold. On the one hand, it guides new researchers through such an uneven and relatively new, but extremely rich area of academic research accumulated throughout the last decade. Media students and researchers will be exposed to dozens of research topics, methods and analytical approaches in each of the three categories included in this guide. On the other hand, this volume demonstrates that Al Jazeera's influence is no longer limited to the media, its immediate space, or politics which is in constant interaction with the media. It reaches other spaces that are less prominent but just as significant in both the long and short run such as academic institutions and research.
The process of data gathering and categorizing was by no means an easy or straightforward task. For, unlike published works that are available to virtually anyone, this endeavor encountered great challenges in terms of university theses, whether doctoral or master's. Acquiring information about unpublished oeuvres dispersed among numerous academic institutions in the from the United States and Canada in the west, all the way to China and Japan the east, required the exercise of different search and communication methods. While we were able to acquire some information directly from the researchers themselves, especially those who happened to visit Al Jazeera during their studies, we had to either contact the research institutions or search for additional information online. Language also proved to be an impediment in the attainment of another sum of work especially in less common languages.
Despite the amount of effort exerted in this guide and the amount of work it compiles, we do not claim to have included all the academic work attending to Al Jazeera. We do, however, feel that by and large we did our utmost best given the short amount of time allotted. We hope that these studies will not be constrained to library shelves and serve only as reference indexes. Most of them are of great quality and represent a significant contribution to knowledge should they be published and widely circulated.
This guide will be an ongoing project, open to the adding and editing of any previously excluded or newly produced materials.
In conclusion, this project would not have been possible without the concerted efforts of a number of colleagues and friends, especially the researchers who kindly provided us with materials concerning their own research and, sometimes, with information that led to the inclusion of additional research materials. Many thanks to them and to my colleagues at the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies for contributing to the production of this guide from their respective positions and helping extensively, often in several different ways despite work pressure. I would particularly like to thank our Centre Director, Dr. Salah Eddin Elzein for his zeal for the project idea since the very beginning and for his opinions, guidance and encouragement. A special thanks to my colleague, Sara Nasr, for her great effort in gathering and sorting the materials of this guide as well as helping with the design concept and development.
We hope that this volume, released on the occasion of Al Jazeera's fifteenth anniversary, achieves the desired goals for the highly significant academic content it contains.