Science Journalism in the Arab World: Between Normative Expectations and Realities on the Ground

This colloquium has been postponed and will be scheduled on a different date and time in 2023. 

Written by Jairo Lugo-Ocando (PhD) 

Presented by Jairo Lugo-Ocando (University of Sharjah)

Science Journalism in the Middle East and North Africa faces similar challenges to those confronted by other news beats. However, as a political institution is has also distinctive features that calls for a deeper analysis of the practices around reporting STEM subjects. In this presentation, we will look at these feature including restricted freedoms within the political system, co-opted media spaces, the influence of religion and gender and how they affect science news reporting in the region. This presentation is based on a research project funded by the Qatar National Research Fund with the support also of funding from the University of Sharjah in the U.A.E.

Jairo Lugo-Ocando, PhD (Sussex) is Professor and the Dean of the College of Communication at the University of Sharjah. Before that he was Professor in Residence and Director of Executive and Graduate Education at Northwestern University, Qatar. Born in Venezuela, he is author of several books, journal articles and other academic publications. His books include the recent titles ‘the News Media in Puerto Rico. Journalism in Colonial Settings and in Times of Crises’ (Routledge, 2020), ‘Media & Governance in Latin America. Towards a Plurality of Voices’ (Peter Lang, 2020) and ‘Foreign Aid and Journalism in the Global South. A Mouthpiece for Truth’ (Lexington Books, 2020). Over the years he has received over US$ 1.2 million as Principal Investigator in external research grants funding from the United Kingdom’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Qatar National Research Fund, the Leverhulme Trust and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities in Scotland, among other institutions. Additionally, he was recipient of the Theodore C. Sorensen Fellowship from the John F. Kennedy Library and was a visiting fellow at the National University of Singapore. Before becoming an academic, he worked as a journalist, correspondent and news editor for several media outlets in Latin America and continues to be engaged with the mainstream news media as regular commentator of Al-Jazeera, columnist in several newspapers, while being a co-founder and vice-president of Golfo Radio 98.3 FM radio in Qatar, which is the first free-to-air radio station in Spanish and Portuguese in the Middle East.

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