Turkey, the Middle East & the Media| Where Arab Media Magnates Stand vis-a-vis Globalized Media Flows: Insights from Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Naomi Sakr


Arab-owned media conglomerates that have business interests both inside and outside the Arab region raise questions about the relative contributions made by those interests at the different national, regional, and global levels in securing for their owners global recognition as well as power and influence at home. Arab media owners like Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Naguib Sawiris, and others feature regularly in global rankings of the rich and powerful but, although they are most often presented as members of a transnational corporate elite, each arguably also remains embedded in a national ruling class. This article explores relevant aspects of the evolution of the Alwaleed and Sawiris empires in order to locate them within the structures of transnational media and communications industries. By also investigating and comparing their interventions at the national level, in relation to media choices respectively available to Saudi and Egyptian media users, the study aims to shed light on the interplay of national and transnational powerbases in the context of Arab media politics and economics.

Full Text: