The Palestinian Media: An Obedient Servant or Vanguard of Democracy?


This article explores the prospects of democracy in a future Palestinian state through examination of the relationship between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the media. After providing an overview of the media under Israeli occupation, the author examines their development and transformation under the PA, including the PA's means of control, both formal and informal. While noting the PA's vulnerability to outside pressures and the need for the press itself to be more assertive in claiming its freedom, the author concludes that the PA's record with the media thus far does not bode well for a democratic political culture in Palestine.


Amal Jamal is a lecturer in political science at Tel Aviv University and Western Galilee College. This article is part of a broader research project concerning state building and the prospects for democracy in Palestine. The author would like to thank Muwatin (The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy) and the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research for their financial support of the research.