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Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1751-9411
  • E-ISSN: 1751-942X



Arab states have used terrestrial radio for nationalist mobilization and development extensively in the 1950s and 1960s. However, government restrictions, combined with the high cost of terrestrial broadcasting, kept radio out of private hands. After discussing the technological context that made digital radio possible in Jordan and the West Bank, I trace the development of the first Internet radio station in the Arab world, AmmanNet, and describe its developmental local programming as an example of a new type of media that digitally savvy youth are broadcasting. However, because some of the funding comes from NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and foreign governments, Arabs face a dilemma: accepting such funding provides them with equipment and training they may not otherwise have, but accepting it sometimes restricts their programming choices to discussions of local problems, rather than problems created by the Israeli occupation. Yet foreign funding also provides opportunities to discuss taboo social issues that state media rarely consider airing.


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