For journalism in the MENA region, the decade leading up to the Arab Uprising was a time of excitement and change as reporters and editors were inspired by the “truth to power” ethos of Qatar-based Al Jazeera and the bravery of Egypt's blogging community as it pushed the envelope of government control. A new sense of mission permeated the industry across the region as journalists sought to create political and social change. In the subsequent decade, those dreams were crushed as authoritarian forces reasserted their control, overthrowing revolutionary regimes and jailing opposition figures from North Africa to the Gulf. In the process, the media was brought to heel. A decade after the uprising, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Syria were among the world's leading jailers of journalist. The brutal 2018 murder of Saudi journalist and activist Jamal Khashoggi was emblematic of the war on journalism being waged by regimes across the region.
- Al Jazeera