Why Gaza's "March of Return" Isn't Dominating Arab Headlines

(Washington Post) Marc Lynch - In previous years, popular Arab media outlets would have typically broadcast wall-to-wall coverage of the Gaza clashes accompanied by furious talk shows and mobilizational programming, drowning out all other issues. Yet this time the events erupted in the middle of a crowded regional political agenda. The crisis faced competition for attention from wars in Yemen and Syria, and the drama surrounding the Trump administration and the potential end of the Iran nuclear agreement. Two of the most popular Arabic television stations are Saudi Arabia's al-Arabiya and Qatar's Al Jazeera. Their official Twitter feeds represent the choices of the station's management over what content to feature. While 18% of Al Jazeera's tweets between March 30 and April 8 were about Gaza, only 2% of al-Arabiya tweets were, mirroring Saudi priorities. Even 18% of tweets on Al Jazeera is a far cry from full time, round-the-clock attention, while Syria topics outweighed Gaza by 6 to 1 over the past two weeks on the station's nightly "Behind the News" talk show program. The writer is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.

2018-04-20 00:00:00

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