Book review: The News Media At War

The news media at war
The clash of western and Arab networks in the Middle East
By Tarek Cherkaoui
Published by I.B.Tauris
ISBN 9781780761046
Price £64.00 hardback

During the 2003 War in Iraq, American news media found it difficult to convey their pro-war perspective outside the United States. Since the war was unpopular in many parts of the world, failure to win hearts and minds-particularly in the Middle East-represented a significant setback for the American soft power. This book explores what happened. It examines the cross-cultural factors that made American television networks cover the war very differently from their Arab counterparts. Underpinning this difference is a deep and insightful study, which explains why America and the Arab world misperceive each other. Tarek Cherkaoui reveals how geo-political and ideological legacies of the past, which divide the world into a dichotomy of ‘us’ against ‘them’, play a dominant role in reinforcing the ensuing polarization. He argues that this clash of perspectives provides a snapshot into the new realities of our globally connected world.

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