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Connecting the dots
A recent study at Harvard University maps out details of the Arabic blogosphere and its links to global networks.
October 19, 2009 8:54 by Precious de Leon
A majority of 83 percent of bloggers live in their native country. Of those living abroad (5 percent), just 3 percent are located outside the Arabic-speaking world.
Despite the relatively low levels of freedom of speech in the region, 64 percent of bloggers use their real name when writing. Only 37 percent blog anonymously or use an obvious pseudonym. The study also found that women are more likely to blog anonymously.
The Arabic blogosphere still regularly links to the websites of traditional media sources such as mainstream print titles and broadcasters. Those in Saudi Arabia, for instance, link mainly to alriyadh.com and alwatan.com.sa, while Kuwait blogs link primarily to alwatancom.kw, alqabas.com.kw and alraialaam.com.
It’s a different story in the Levant, where blogs link primarily to international English-language media sources such as news.bbc.co.uk, guardian.co.uk, cnn.com, english.aljazeera.net and nytimes.com.
Overall, Al Jazeera is the top mainstream media source, followed by the BBC and Al Arabiya, while US-funded media outlets like Radio Sawa and Al Hurra are infrequently linked, ranking 507 and 2,871 on the list, respectively.