Who wins public space to become the influencer of the global narrative, with far reaching impact on how we perceive of the world around us? A critical look at technology, the management of fake news, and the role of the big platforms in shaping the media landscape in the Middle East.

“Media is the space within which many of the latent battles of interests is now being played out in our region” said a colleague in summing up the massive blockage of news websites that recently took place in Egypt. It is a common understanding within the region that media (its ownership, management, content and future) is now an area of focus in the geo-political struggle for dominance and survival in the region. The ability to control technology (from blocking websites to finding ways to circumvent the blockage) to the control of the narrative (via ownership, fake news manipulation, legal constrains, trolling) and the massive influence wielded by powerful platforms. How to we begin to make sense of the media landscape and chart strategies to ensure journalism that speaks truth to power is able to continue to exist and influence audiences.