Al Jazeera’s The Stream: Digital and Diasporic Geographies beyond the West

Viola Sarnelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A few months after the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian revolts, the satellite news
channel Al Jazeera English, broadcasting from the Middle-Eastern region for an
international public, launched ‘The Stream’, presented as “A television show based on a social media community”. By integrating the social media into the news production process, The Stream is expected, according to its authors, to transfer the geographic and cultural variety of the internet into a television format. This paper aims to explore how a transnational media like Al Jazeera English uses the convergence between television and social networks to ‘give voice’ to the changing relations of power and cultural influence between the West and the Rest, particularly through the category of the ‘diaspora’. By
analysing some episodes of the program, this paper will look at how in The Stream this term, loaded with historic and cultural meaning in migration studies and media- and postcolonial theory, becomes part of the everyday language of a multi-media community.
The article analyses how the term ‘diaspora’ is used and transformed within The Stream media environment: as a field for ‘social change’; as an element contributing to discussion, democracy, modernization; as a key aspect to elaborate the cultural complexity of contemporary societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages14
JournalAnglistica AION
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • diaspora
  • Television
  • social media
  • convergence culture
  • Middle East
  • digital media


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