New Book

An Unlikely Audience
An Unlikely Audience makes a major contribution to global media studies. With its meticulous account... it focuses attention upon the centrality of an understanding of materiality, place and culture to transnational broadcasting.

—Terry Flew, Queensland University of Technology
Ph.D., University of Michigan
J.D., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., University of Michigan


William Lafi Youmans is an Assistant Professor at George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs. Broadly interested in questions of transnationalism, power and communication, his primary research interests include global news, technology, law and politics.  His other areas of research interest include international broadcasting, Middle East politics, and Arab-American studies.

Youmans wrote a book, Unlikely Audience: Al Jazeera's Struggle in America (Oxford UP, 2017), about the Qatari news network's efforts to gain a share of the news market in the United States, 2006-2016.

He has been quoted in articles that ran in Salon, Washington Post, Newsweek, Variety and The New York Times, among others.  He was a guest on radio and television programs on CBC Radio, WAMU/NPR, Headline News, Al Jazeera English and ARD. He wrote a regular column for the Gulf News, but has also been published in the Washington Post, Middle East Report, and Nieman Journalism Lab.

His paper on CIA recruitment in Arab Detroit won the 2013 Best Paper Award in the International Communication Section of the International Studies Association.  It was published in early 2017 in The Communication Review.

Youmans presented at academic conferences, including the annual gatherings of the Middle East Studies Association, the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association, the International Studies Association, and the American Sociological Association.