Audiences’ Perceptions of News Media Services in Three Arab Countries
thesisposted on 16.01.2013, 13:10 by Khalid Jamal M.H. Al-Jaber
Since their launch, Arabic news satellite TV channels have been recognized as a milestone in the history of Arab media, and their operation has affected – or infected - the Arab audience like no other medium has ever done. This study investigates Arab audiences‘ perceptions of news media services. Moreover, it is a study of news consumption profiles and how these are related to new and old news service provision as well as to viewers‘ motivations for watching news, and their perceptions of different news services in terms of their credibility. It also attempts to understand the evolution of mass media services in the Arab world in the last decade and the interaction between the news media and their audiences. The study takes place in the Arab Gulf States region (GCC countries), “The Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf”. Research data were obtained using a self-completion survey from three countries Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar, where 1,752 participants of Arab descent answered the questionnaire. The findings indicate that news consumers‘ demographic profiles did not differ greatly between the three countries. In gender, the major participants of the study were reported to be more male than female. The majority of the audiences were young, under thirty years old, better educated, had bachelor degrees, were employed, and earned up to 25,000 (USD) per year. Politically they did not display extreme or polarised political orientations. Moreover, the study found that Arabic news TV services have emerged as the leading news resource and source of information for participants in the three Arab Gulf States. Furthermore, Al-Jazeera and BBC (Arabic) TV were rated as highly credible sources. Finally, the results of the study suggest that Arab audiences seek information from media they deem to be reliable and credible to gratify their need for news information.