Jordanian audiences and satellite news media

Abdel Karim, Mohamed (2012) Jordanian audiences and satellite news media. (PhD thesis), Kingston University,


This study aims to examine current reception analysis and meida theories to determine if extant literature in the field is relevant to the experience of the Arab audience focusing on the Jordanian audiences as an illustrative case study, using quantitative and qualitative tools including questionnaires and in-depth interviews. The findings show that the Jordanian audiences seem to favour television over print press as a source of information, and they favoured channels such as Al Jazeera. Getting information about international (political) affairs gives this sample of audiences a sense of empowerment which is argued, could compensate for the lack of genuine opportunities for political participation in Jordan. It is also argued that, unlike western studies which claim the prevalence of entertainment programmes and the decline of news, this study shows the opposite trend in the Arab region where viewers are more interested in politics as a topic for social conversation. The findings show that the Jordanian audiences are aware of the role of ownership on the news content but tend to use their awareness of this issue to distinguish between information and propaganda. In general, audiences seem mistrustful of pan-Arab channels and their ideologies and yet they are avid consumers of such channels. One reason, in my view, is the low quality of what they see as censored news in Jordan. Audiences' sceptism of what they watch on news channels is not necassarily damaging their engagement in the political life. Jordanian audiences also understand that the diversity of views offered by satellite news channels is based on the selectivity of each channel (and its editorial team as well as its owner).

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