The 2011 Arab uprisings have called into question the assumptions and questions that have defined much of the scholarship on the media of and about the Arab world and its various publics. Much of this scholarship remains largely shaped by the ‘political’ agendas of the dominant analytical paradigms prominent in the 1970s, including the modernisation paradigm. Furthermore, many studies consider mediated cultures as being of the ‘here’ and the ‘now’ rather than a product of ongoing historical processes and conjunctures. This short intervention calls for rethinking the broad assumptions about the role of media in the ongoing protests. While not ignoring the role of media, it suggests broadening our conceptual and research agendas to incorporate a historical perspective that would also seriously consider the material and immaterial ‘geneaologies’—particular histories of nation-states, religion(s), capitalist class formations, national, regional and international politics as well as cultural and discursive formations.