Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico
Dr Fatima el Issawi
Dr Fatima el Issawi

Dr Fatima el Issawi

  • Visiting

Senior Visiting Fellow


Dr Fatima el Issawi is a Reader in Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Essex.

Her research focuses on the intersection between media, politics and conflicts in transitional contexts to democracy in North Africa. She is the principal investigator for the research project ‘Media and Transitions to Democracy: Journalistic Practices in Communicating Conflicts- the Arab Spring’ funded by the British Academy Sustainable Development Programme, looking at media’s impact on communicating political conflicts in post uprisings in North Africa.

Since 2012, Fatima has been leading empirical comparative research projects on the interplay between media and political change, funded by Open Society Foundation and the Middle East Centre/LSE, covering Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Algeria.

Fatima’s expertise crosses journalism, public communication, policy and academia. She has more than 15 years of experience as international correspondent in conflict zones in the MENA region. She is the author of Arab National Media and Political Change investigating the complex intersections between traditional journalists and politics in uncertain times of transitions to democracy.

Research projects

The project ‘Arab Media and Transitions to Democracy: Journalistic Practices in Communication conflicts’ aspires to understand the complex role of the news media as an institution of power-making in contested transitions.

It aims to investigate the ambivalent role of media as both a force for democratisation and an engine for divisions and polarisation in a context of troubled transitions – or attempted transitions – to democracy.

The project is funded by the British Academy Sustainable Development Programme. It is based at the University of Essex in partnership with the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa at LSE, the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies at King's College London and Article 19 MENA.

The project website can be found at:

Latest publications

  • Arab National Media and Political Change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
  • With Cavatorta, Francesco (eds). The Arab Spring: micro dynamics of revolt between change and continuity. London: Gingko, 2020 (expected publication date).
  • Egyptian Journalists and the Quest for Something Different After the Uprising; Structures, Practices, and Agency, The Journal of International Communication, 2020 (published online
  • With Cammaerts, Bart. Shifting journalistic roles in democratic transitions: lessons from Egypt. Journalism 17, no. 5 (2016): 549-566.
  • Women and media: Libyan female journalists from Gaddafi media to post-revolution: case study. CyberOrient 8, no.1 (2014).
  • Seasons of Creativity, the Squares and Beyond (Introductory chapter) In From Visionaries to Vloggers, the Media Majlis Project, Northwestern University in Qatar. Doha: Akkadia Press, 2019 (expected publication data).
  • Arab transitional media: A comparative analysis of Tunisian, Libyan and Egyptian traditional media industries. In Bullets and Bulletins: Media and Politics in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings, 45-70. Edited by Mohamed Zayani and Suzi Mirghani. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Algerian National Media: Freedom at a Cost. Middle East Centre, London School of Economics. February 2017. Available here.
  • Moroccan National Media Between Change and Status Quo. Middle East Centre, London School of Economics. April 2016. Available here.