Virtual Death; Print Versus Electronic: When Will Trend Reach MENA Region?

France is already tackling the challenge of lower consumption of print media. In 2009, France’s Ministry of Culture passed an initiative to promote subscription to one newspaper among French citizens between 18-24 year olds. More problem-solving has ensued to address the global trend of the “dying print media.”

To What Extent Will Trend Reach MENA?
Print newspapers are experiencing a decline, as a well as books. To what extend will the shift from print to electronic reach the MENA region? Similarly, will books face the “virtual death” in other regions of the world, like MENA? Enter the Kindle, iPad’s newer applications, and other technological tools. Technology tools and social media have catapulted in MENA–even before the Arab Awakening. A great case study is Egypt, which has high rates of internet penetration as well as the most print newspapers–Arabic and English–in all of the Arab world. The Egyptian government owns a controlling stock in three major daily Egyptian newspapers: Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar, and Al-Gumhuriya.

PITAPOLICY invites pita-consumers to respond to theses global trends and debate whether they apply to the MENA region, in an opinion or analytical piece. Submit your thoughts to pitapolicy@gmail.com! In the meantime, take the poll. Compare the responses to the interview.

Check out this interviewAnother interview with French publisher, Arash Derambarsh, who is active on the conservative side of politics as a French politico of Persian heritage..

Summary of Interview:
The panelists debate the virtual death of print media regarding books. Panelists include:
– Arash Derambarsh (éditions Le Cherche Midi)
– Hervé Le Tellier (auteur)
– Mathias Lair Liaudet (Union des écrivains)
– Juan Pirlot de Corbion (Fondateur YouScribe.com)

The digital debate questions whether the IPad revolution will provide the digital book to completely supplant the print book (as in Nook and Kindle). The iPad was out in the 1980’s, so why is it only appearing now? The Apple company is not approaching the French publishers; there is not much cooperation. The panelists prefer the natural book, but they are also open to the technology–provided that intellectual property is respected. Overall, they participate in the consumer culture regarding the new trend of the digital book andthink it will win over the iPad. Perhaps easier applications will be created to read books on iPad…to be continued….

Additional Resources to Focus on an Egypt Case Study

1) Committee to Protect Journalists. Middle East and North Africa Country Report: Egypt . 2001. Available from http://www.cpj.org/attacks01/mideast01/Egypt.html .

2) De Blij, H.J., and Peter O. Muller. Geography: Realms, Regions and Concepts . New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2002.

3) “Egypt.” BBC News. Available from http://news.bbc.co.uk .

4) IJNet: International Journalists’ Network. Available from http://www.ijnet.org/Profle/Africa/Egypt/media.html .

5) “The Press in Egypt.” Available from http://www.sis.gov.eg/pressrev/html/pressinfo.htm .

~PITAPOLICY


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