Principle nvestigator

Dr Fatima el Issawi is a British Lebanese scholar and journalist. She is Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Media studies at the University of Essex’s Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS). She is also a Senior Visiting Fellow, International Development, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr el Issawi has expertise in researching media industries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). She is the principle investigator for this research project “Media and Transitions to Democracy: Journalistic Practices in Communicating Conflicts—The Arab Spring” which is funded by the British Academy Sustainable Development Programme. Prior to this (2014 to 2017), she led the project “Arab National Media and Politics: Democracy Revisited” where she examined Morocco and Algeria as case studies. From 2012 to 2014, she led the project “Arab Revolutions: Media Revolutions”, which examined media in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. The project was funded by Open Society Foundation and based at the department of Media and Communications at LSE.

Dr el Issawi also has years of experience as a journalist. She covered conflict zones and wars in the Middle East for leading media organizations such as Agence France Presse (AFP) and the BBC World Service.


Selected publications

  • “Algerian National Media: Freedom at a Cost.” Middle East Centre, London School of Economics. February 2017. Available at




Dr Fatima el Issawi’s page at the University of Essex

Media Contribution

  • Quoted in “ Saudi Arabia Sought Vice’s Help to Build a Media Empire” (08.02.2019 – Wall Street Journal)

  • “As an Arab journalist, let me tell you exactly why Al Jazeera's existence is so important” (10.09.2017 – The Independent)

  • Coverage of my policy paper on Algerian Media “Médias algériens : quand le pluralisme n’est qu’une façade” (10.06.2017 - Observatoire Arabe du Journalisme)

Arab Media & Democracy 

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