IAMCR and the Middle East and North Africa: Questions of Place, People, and Paradigms

A Book Chapter by Naomi Sakr, published by Springer

Prof. Naomi Sakr has contributed a chapter to a special edtion book celebrating 65 years of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). This volume is organised in four parts following an introduction authored by editors who are active members of IAMCR. Part I highlights eight prominent scholarly traditions of research which have attracted the interest of scholars from around the world as well as the way the Association has sought to be inclusive of early career scholars. Part II offers seven chapters which bring to light the political struggles of a membership seeking to engage in scholarship across the East – West divide and to contribute to global debates aimed at fostering an inclusive, fair and equitable international information and communication order through engagement with United Nations sponsored initiatives. Part III turns to accounts of the way members from selected countries and regions have contributed to the Association’s scholarly work. The last part highlights the significant scholarly and institution-building contributions of James Halloran, IAMCR’s President from 1972 to 1988 and other prominent contributors to the study of culture and the political economy of media and communications

Prof. Sakr’s chapter reviews IAMCR-Middle East and North Africa (MENA) relationships from 1970 to the present by examining meeting places, influential scholars, and paradigmatic approaches to media and communication research. Constraints to MENA scholars’ participation in IAMCR are shown to have been resulted from geopolitics, the value accorded to media and communication research by MENA academic institutions, and from internal association approaches to the region.

Throughout its 65-year history, the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) has sought to facilitate international exchanges and research collaborations among academics and journalists in the field of media and communication. ​ Created during a time of strong ideological tension following World War II in 1957 and with the support of UNESCO, the contributors to this edited collection highlight how the IAMCR and its members shaped the field of media and communications research. From its beginnings focusing on the mass media, including the press and journalism education, today the Association attracts researchers and practitioners who undertake critical analysis of contemporary media and communications, including online platforms and their governance. Consistent themes throughout the Association’s history have been its concern with human rights, law, culture and the political economy of the media and communication industries. Not content simply to understand developments in the media and communications field around the world, the Association’s membership has sought to ‘change the world’ through its published research and its participation in global, regional, national and local policy debate and practice.

Naomi Sakr


Naomi Sakr is Professor of Media Policy at the University of Westminster. She is co-author (with Jeanette Steemers) of Screen Media for Arab and European Children: Policy and Production Encounters in the Multiplatform Era (2019) and sole author of Transformations in Egyptian Journalism (2013), Arab Television Today (2007) and Satellite Realms: Transnational Television, Globalization and the Middle East (2001). She has has edited two collections, Women and Media in the Middle East: Power through Self-Expression (2004) and Arab Media and Political Renewal: Community, Legitimacy and Public Life (2007), and co-edited two others, Arab Media Moguls (2015) and Children’s TV and Digital Media in the Arab World: Childhood, Screen Culture and Education (2017).


15 May 2023
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