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Introduction

Television and satellite are quite widespread all over the world and in the Arab world particularly as a result of high rates of illiteracy, the low cost of satellite, and international coverage. However, television is still restricted by censorship, internally and externally. Governments in several instances have cracked down on satellite channels and dispensed their reporters as a response to unfavorable coverage. Extreme measures included shutting down the channel as was the case of "Zawra" the Iraqi satellite channel which was banned from the air for alleged technical reasons. Meshaan Jabouri, the channel owner, threatened to sue the Egyptian government and accused it of political manipulation.

Radio and print media share the same conditions as television and satellite channels, the difference being in details.

It is thus not surprising that the Internet has become the most widespread and influential media tool overcoming the restrictions on traditional media. On the internet there are "news to break by everyone to everyone" through tools such as blogs.

The spread of Internet:
Internationally:
Recent surveys estimated the number of Internet users around the world to be 1.2 Billion, i.e. 17% of the world's population is internet users, in comparison to 1997 estimates of 70 million internet users. This means that the number of internet users in the world has increased around 17 times over the last decade. This rise in users is an unprecedented phenomenon with regards to any of the other media technology.

In the Arab world:
The number of internet users around the Arab world in 2007 is estimated to be 29 million, i.e. 8.7 % of the Arab world's population.

In the last decade, there was an upsurge in the number of Arab Internet users. In 1997 there were around 600 thousand. This means that the number of Internet users in the Arab World has increased 50 times over the last ten years. This huge rise in Internet use predicts the future of the Internet in the Arab world, putting into consideration that that new technologies are now adopting the Arabic language, a service that was not availably only a few years ago along with a poor infrastructure in telecommunications in most of the Arab countries, high communication cost, illiteracy, and implanted suspicions of the Internet raised by Arab governments.

Electronic media:
The widespread of Internet in the Arab world encouraged many newspapers and media outlets to resort to the internet, by creating their own websites. Many organizations in the region set up their own websites as well. In addition, many electronic media outlets were setup and grown to become credible amongst Internet users, to the extent that some news website have visitor hits much higher than the readership rates of a number of excelling news papers in one country. Examples of such websites are Naseej, Elaph, Muheet, Islamonline, Masrawy, and albawaba.

Many other satellites and news agencies have developed their own websites so as to reach a wider segment of reader. This reflects how powerful the Internet has become especially in terms of competition and outreach.

Human rights organizations and the Internet:
Despite of suspicions surrounding the concept of "human rights" in the region, regarding it as a double standard, the human rights movement in the Arab world, and internationally, succeeded to assert itself as a pressure group with a frame of reference against many governments, particularly the oppressive ones.

The new generation of the human rights movement manifested itself with the establishment of the International Criminal Court, despite the ferocious US opposition, and thus transforming the role of the movement from mere advocacy to prosecution. The insurmountable effort played by human rights organizations for the ICC to see light has deeply consolidated the role of non-governmental organizations and human rights organizations, whether in the Arab World or in the world as a whole, responding strongly to all those who were suspicious of human rights organizations.

Most criticism of human rights organizations are led by governments infamous for their oppression and manipulation of ideological and religious beliefs to justify the continuing sufferings they inflict on their own people.

It was not surprising that human rights organizations resort to the Internet in order to promote their goals and campaigns. However, organizations varied in how they used this important too. Thousands of visitors, everyday, visit international human rights websites, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, AMAN, and HRinfo, as they provide information to the public, journalists, and researchers, providing also an opportunity for the participation of activists.