The Arabic news media sphere is largely transnational, with media hubs like Dubai and London playing a significant role in news production. In both cities, Arabic satellite TV news channels and digital platforms compete to expand their audience, particularly young people.
But how this “Arab audience” is conceived remains a relatively understudied topic, particularly when it is comprised of viewers and online users scattered across countries within the MENA and across its global diasporas. This ambiguity in understanding “the Arab audience” is further complicated by fast-changing news technologies that are blurring the lines between news making and news consumption.
Through interviews and focus groups with students and journalists in London and Dubai, this project seeks to examine how Arab journalists conceive of their audience, how they reach out to young people and how Arab students engage with news media. By linking the perspectives of students and journalists, the research explores whether there is a schism and a generational divide between journalists and young people that influences news making, how conceptions of the audience take shape when news is delivered across platforms, and how both groups engage with the idea of “the Arab audience” in news.
This project forms part of the Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Programme, funded by the Emirates Foundation.
Omar Al-Ghazzi | Principal Investigator
Omar is Assistant Professor, Department of Media and Communications, LSE.
Abeer Al-Najjar | Co-Principal Investigator
Abeer is Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communication, AUS.