Against All Odds: Media Survive in Palestine

Mohammed Omer


With very limited English language literature on the history of the Palestinian media, this paper is meant to offer a historical background of the present Palestinian media landscape, especially in Gaza and the West Bank. It surveys the long history of the Palestinian printed press starting from the era of the Ottoman empire, through the eras of the British Mandate, revolt, Egyptian control, Israeli occupation to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. Throughout, it is noted how inter-elite competition fosters media factionalism. However, the birth of nationalist media survived under different forms of occupation and against all odds. This is also a continuous thread in the history of media in Palestine. The detailed examination of this history makes it possible to connect past trends with contemporary technological developments, including the advent of satellite TV. The study thus reveals the longer-term trends that underlie some of the more puzzling features of media in the Palestinian context today. 

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