Aug. 9, 2010, 11:14 a.m.
One of the most notable change in the Middle East over the past decade has been the proliferation of new forms of media. Often dubbed the "Al-Jazeera effect," the massive influx of new forms of media has arguably changed the social and political dynamics of the region. In Egypt, state-run newspapers such as Al-Ahram, which once dominated the market, are now competing with independent dailies such as Al-Masry Al-Youm. More and more citizens are connected to the internet and more families have access to satellite televisions, where they can view more independent stations such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya. Of course, all of this does not mean that the region now enjoys a free press. Media outlets not owned by the state still engage in self-censorship for political and financial security. Still, many observers of the region are hopeful that increasing access to new forms of media among MENA's youth will create long-term transformations in society. The American University in Beirut has released a survey, which analyzes media consumption habits of the youth in three Arab countries. The report may be a useful tool for those looking to study media in the region. It discusses habits relating to mediums such as the internet and television, while probing other issues such as preferred language and program types.