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NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES. Islamic journalism takes two forms: first, in general newspapers (Ar., jaridah, sahifah; Tk., gazete; Pers., ruznamah) and magazines with certain sections or editorials about Islam and Islamic affairs; and second, in Islamic newspapers and magazines in which almost all the content deals with Islam. The latter may be either licensed or underground publications. Arabic-language journalism is the most important segment of Islamic journalism in terms of reputation and readership. The functions of the media in the Arab world are to convey news and information of general interest, to interpret and comment on events, to reinforce social norms and cultural awareness through the dissemination of information about culture and society, to provide commercial promotion and services, and finally to entertain.
The first newspaper in Egypt was established by Napoleon in 1798 after he invaded that country. Courier de l’Egypte was propagandistic in intent, designed to inform, instruct, and sustain the morale of the French expeditionary force.
On 20 November 1828, the first issue of the TurkishArabic Al-waqa’i` al-Misriyah (Egyptian Events) was published in Cairo. It was the official newspaper of the Egyptian government headed by Muhammad ‘Ali. In Beirut, Lebanon, Hadiqat al-akhbar (The Garden of the News) began publication in 1858, and was soon followed by Cevdib (Messages) in Turkey in 186o.
The development of Arabic magazines began in 1884 when Jamdl al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad `Abduh, living in exile in Paris, published the monthly Al-`urwah al-wuthqa (The Firm). This was followed by Al-azhar, a monthly magazine published in Cairo in 1889.
The development of the Arab print media has been affected by a weak economic base, close ties to politics, and cultural factors. The most important newspapers published in the Arab world today are the Egyptian progovernment newspapers Al-ahrdm (The Pyramids), Alakhbar (The News), and Al -jumhuriyah (The Republic); the Egyptian opposition journals Al-wafd (The Delegates) and Al-sha’b (The People); Al-nahdr (The Day) and Al-anwdr (The Lights) of Lebanon; Al-Sharq alAwsat (The Middle East) and Al-haydh (Life) of Saudi Arabia; Al-anbd’ (The News) and Al-qabas (The Beacon) of Kuwait; Al-`slam (The Flag) of Morocco; Alra’y (Opinion) and Al-dustur (The Constitution) of Jordan; and Al-sabdh (The Morning) of Tunisia. Each newspaper usually carries unmistakably local content reflecting local conditions. Many items have a political message in the form of political commentaries and editorials, and the news media tend to report current events with a political perspective. Some of the Arabic newspapers with international distribution, such as Al-ahrdm, Al-Sharq al-Awsat, and Al-hayah, endeavor to convey this kind of information and opinion to a mass audience throughout the world. There have been struggles both between national and opposition newspapers and between private ownership and government control.
There are several Islamic publications in Europe. Alghuraba’ (The Strangers), a monthly magazine, was begun in 1972 in London, England, by the Muslim Students’ Association. Al-nadhir (The Warning Signal) was first published in 1979 by the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, the Islamic Center in London has published the monthly magazine Al-tali` ah (The Front) since 1983. All are Islamic newspapers serving Muslims from a specific point of view. In Germany, `Alam al-Islam (The Islamic World) magazine was first published in 1913 and was followed by Liwd’ al-Islam (Flag of Islam) in 1921. In Geneva, Al-`urwahal-wuthqa (The Firm Tie), a quarterly, was established in 1921. In 1982, Sawt al-`Urubah (The Arab Voice) was published in Brussels. In Vienna, Al-Kalimah al-tayyibah (The Good Word) a monthly magazine, is published by the Islamic Union, which is influenced by al-Shawqiyun, a conservative Islamic organization. Aslafnd (Our Ancestors) is a monthly magazine published by the Islamic Center in Vienna since 1991. In the Netherlands, Al-usrah (The Family), is published monthly by the Religious Endowments Association and covers Islamic affairs; Al-insan (The Human Being) a bimonthly established in 1990, is published in France. Several Islamic publications appear in Malta, including Risdlat al jihad (The Message of Holy War), first published in 1982, and Mustaqbal al`alam al-Islami (Future of the Islamic World), a quarterly begun in 1991 at The Center of Islamic Studies, which is concerned with the major issues and social affairs of the Islamic world.
Newspapers and magazines for Turkic-speaking Muslims are not confined to Turkey alone but are also published in the Muslim nations of the former Soviet Union. Most are in Turkish or Kazakh. The Turkish press has historically been very influential throughout the Islamic world. In 1831, the first official newspaper, Le Moniteur Ottoman, was published in Constantinople. The development of the Turkish press was subject to turmoil when the Ottoman Empire ended; since then, journalism has greatly revived. Today the most serious and influential Turkish papers are Milliyet and Cumhuriyet.
Islamic journalism in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia is a recent development, begun through the efforts of two men, Ismail Bey Gasprinskii and Ahmed Bey Aghayef. The former founded Turjuman (Tataric Review) in 1879; it is still in publication. Ahmed Bey Aghayef founded the Review Irshad (Guidance) in Baku. In 1906, Jan El Barudi published Al-din wa-a-adab (Religion and Manners). Journals dealing with Islamic affairs were published in Arabic and Russian as well as in local languages.
In Iran, many newspapers were published early in the nineteenth century, such as Iran and Sharaf (Honor); these appeared irregularly and were devoted largely to praising princes and monarchs. Since the Islamic revolution of 1979 the government has allowed private ownership of periodicals, although publishers must obtain a license from the government; many Iranian papers publish articles reflecting disapproval of government policies. Several of the Islamic newspapers published in Iran, such as Al-majalis (The Councils), begun in 1906 in Tehran, and Sur-i Israfil, have reached a high level of circulation.
The history of Islamic journalism in the Indian subcontinent goes back to 1866, when Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan founded the oldest Indian review, Aligarh Institute Gazette. Throughout his fife he continued providing this review with articles about politics and Muslim social issues. Two notable magazines are Al-vatan (The Nation), published in Lahore by Maulay Insha’allah, and Albashir (The Messenger), published by Maulay Bashiruddin. There are also several English-language journals concerning Islamic affairs, such as the Panjab Observer in Lahore, The Moslem Chronicle and the Comrade in Calcutta, and The Mohammadan in Madras. Other periodicals covering Islamic affairs appear in Urdu; a very popular Urdu magazine for women is Tahzibunnisvdn (Manners of Women), published weekly in Lahore. In Pakistan some 125 daily papers are published; most are in Urdu and a significant number are in English. The news content of these papers is rather high. The most important Urdu dailes are Jang, the liberal Hurriyat, the state-owned Imroz and Mashriq, and the conservative Jasarat and Navd-i vaqf. The most influential Englishlanguage daily is the state-owned Pakistan Times. Akhbdr-i Jahan and Takbir are very popular newsmagazines.
In Singapore two Arabic weekly journals are published, Al-imam (The Leader) and Al-islah (The Amendment). The latter was first published in 1912. In China there are more than a hundred newspapers and magazines for Muslims, most of them in Chinese, although there are several published in Arabic, Japanese, and English. Their content is related to Islamic affairs and current problems; most are published in Shanghai, Canton, or Hong Kong. Uhowa is considered the most important Islamic magazine and started in 1929.
Although the number of Muslims in Japan is relatively low, several Islamic publications have been established there. The most important magazines are ChuKontu-Gibo (Middle East Magazine), published monthly by the Foreign Ministry, and Arabo (Arabs), dealing with Arabs and the Arab countries.
In North America, the development of Islamic newspapers and magazines was started by Lebanese and Syrians who immigrated to the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century. The most important of these today is a weekly bilingual newspaper, Sadd alwatan or Arab American News. The content is mainly Islamic affairs from a ShM perspective; the newspaper is published in Dearborn, Michigan, with many subscriptions outside the state. Al-rdyah (The Banner) is another popular bilingual newspaper published in Philadelphia.
[See also Communications Media.]
BIBLIOGRAPHY
The World’s News Media. New York, 1992. See pages
Drost, Harry. 381-384. Hartman, William, et al. Al jaridah, aw, al-sihafah `inda al-Muslimin. Beirut, 1984. See pages 37, 41, 125, 165.
Merrill, John C. Global Journalism. New York, 1983. See pages 107-109.
Napoli, James, and Hussein Y. Amin. “Press Freedom in Egypt.” In Communication and Press Freedom in Africa, edited by William Jong-Ebot and Festus Eribo. Boulder, 1994
Risalat al-Jihad. Mawsu’at al-sihafah al-`Arabiyah al-Islamiyah (Encyclopedia of the Arab-Islamic Press). Tobruk, Libya, 1991. See pages 186-193.
Rough, William A. The Arab Press. Syracuse, N.Y., 1979. See pages 1-8.
Wahdan, Muhammad S. “AI-sihafah al-Islamiyah fi Urbba” (Islamic Journalism in Europe). Ph.D. diss., al-Azhar University, 1994.
HUSSEIN Y. AMIN

Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/newspapers-and-magazines/
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  • writerPosted On: June 13, 2017
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