The Arab world is steeped in nonsensical conspiracy theories and unbridled hate, communicated through media ranging from newspapers to textbooks. So this is worth exploring:
Blogs cannot replace newspapers, but in the Arab world, where the state controls much of the press, their place as a forum for free debate is unequalled, according to Wadih Tueni, head of new technologies for the Lebanese daily An-Nahar.
APN: How important are bloggers in Arab countries?
Tueni: The most important thing about blogs is that they allow free expression. In most Arab countries, the state controls the press and its journalists. Newspapers cover only the activities of the head of state and the government, or the king. The margin of freedom is very limited, almost non-existent. So blogs become a vehicle for independent writers to express themselves on events or situations. Blogs are free and reach the largest number of readers possible. In the Arab world, there are things that you just can’t print in the newspaper; that’s why people turn to blogs and why they are so popular.