Lebanon: War and Politics in a Fragmented Society
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Nabil Dajani. The full text of this chapter is available as a preview. Access to the full text of the entire book is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or read more about How to Order. Recent attempts at investigating the media and its role in society tend to focus on the present media situation, particularly on the new and social media. The process of communication is an important component in the maintenance and development of social life, and it is rooted in the past.
An appropriate investigation of the role the media in society therefore requires centering the attention on both the biography and the history of the present communication structures in the country. The past is a prologue. Understanding the past is a necessary preface for the understanding of the present and for planning the future.
The purpose of this study is to examine the media situation in Lebanon by investigating the different historical changes in the structure and the forces at work on these media. A historical investigation of the Lebanese media that is unfortunately, underscored by new Lebanese media studies is essential for a proper examination of the Lebanese media situation.
Such an approach is crucial to provide a critical assessment of the prevailing forces that contribute to the fragmentation and conflict in this small state, which represents an amplified model of the situation in the Arab East region. Because the study is historical in nature, it delves into as much media management details as needed in this historical context. This is why this study goes to great lengths in discussing Lebanese print media, which is the first Lebanese mass medium.
The study and investigation of the role of the Lebanese media in the Lebanese society has been the core of my research for the past half century.
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My interest in this subject was stimulated by my early interactions with media channels in Lebanon in the s and s as the business manager of a student college paper, as news editor of a local Lebanese paper and as director of information at a university in Lebanon. Over the years, I have acquired a large volume of notes and documents that were the basis for my book on the Lebanese media: Disoriented Media in xii a Fragmented Society , which appeared at the end of the Lebanese Civil War, in , and did not receive adequate exposure and dissemination.
In preparing this manuscript, I have updated and restructured the relevant material in the book and incorporated parts of some of my recent articles to demonstrate the vast changes that these media have undertaken.
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I was careful to free my presentation from any ideological interpretation of the media situation. I am here as a scholar and not as a politician. While this manuscript integrates parts of my past work, it does not represent a new edition of this work.tiovasusjiakang.gq
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Rather, my new input provides a different orientation that focuses on the history and biography of the Lebanese media. It presents a synthesis of my Lebanese and Arab media observations. I have, thus stayed away from discussing at length the social media in Lebanon, as this form of media has only a short history, which is still in the making.
However, I related these to the folk media inasmuch as one may view the social media as a mediated form of face-to-face communication. This may be achieved by relating the role of social media to that of the traditional Lebanese folk media. Dealing with the present realities of the Lebanese media requires being sensitive to domestic realities of the subject matter. This has meant that certain firsthand information, which reflects little credit on several institutions and individuals, had either to be suppressed or presented in such a way that those concerned would remain anonymous.
While some readers may regret that, the exigencies of the current situation in Lebanon make this necessary, however, I do not think that it seriously undermines my account.
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I am mainly interested in offering examples of the kind of behavior that unfortunately taints the handling of the media in Lebanon. Additionally, much of this information was offered to me in good faith, and I have no wish to break the confidentiality of my informants. Readers must bear with me, therefore, if in certain places they find an irritating vagueness in relation to actual people and events, and I must ask them to take on trust the veracity of what I have written. Suffice to say, that in my earlier career as a media practitioner and as a friend and advisor xiii to various media practitioners and officials, I have had many opportunities to learn about many aspects of the Lebanese media—good and bad.
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