My research interests lie at the intersection of politics, technology and the media. From exploring how cyberactivism and citizen journalism empowered youth movements in the Middle East to interrogating the role that social media plays in news and policy making, I draw on my experiences as a journalist, academic, activist and practitioner to bring a 360 degree perspective. Examining how technologically inflected, mediated speech influences policy, activism and journalism has been at the core of not just my research interests but my professional life as well.
Recently I have been interested in exploring how countering violent extremism has developed into an international agenda with profound implications for policymaking, technology and freedom of expression.
My work also focuses on internet governance issues, such as surveillance, human rights, online harassment, and multistakholderism. I am a member of GigaNet, the internet governance network for scholars, and my book was published as part of Palgrave Macmillan’s Internet Governance series. I have organized sessions at the UN Internet Governance Forum and US IGF for the past several years, including a roundtable on the press freedom dimensions of internet governance.
Dynamics of gender, power, and networks are key nodes in my research, whether looking at how online harassment affects women journalists or examining how young women in the Middle East use social media for empowerment and participation and the implications of this for the contours of the public sphere.
Drawing on my experience as a journalist in the United States and the Middle East, as well as extensive fieldwork in the region, I have explored the structural and environmental factors that influence news production, how Arab journalists construct their identity, and what doing journalism means in the Middle East.I am currently working on an update to William Rugh’s seminal book Arab Mass Media.
I’m always interested in hearing about interesting research projects and collaborations.