World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development - Arab Region

The past six years have been a tumultuous period for the Arab region, with several of its 19 countries experiencing popular uprisings, armed conflict, and reform movements that have had significant repercussions on press freedom. Previously closed and restrictive media systems opened amid the initial euphoria and confusion of the 2011 uprisings in parts of the region, and the situation continues to evolve as many cases are still in flux. Press freedom has since faced some challenges in countries with new governments as well as in countries that did not experience political transitions. The dominant trend that has emerged indicates ongoing restrictions on freedom of expression, opinion and the press even amid increasing pressure for liberalization.