The credibility of news in Saudi Arabia : a comparative study of print newspapers with their online counterparts and exclusively online newspapers among Saudis

Maqbul, AMA 2019, The credibility of news in Saudi Arabia : a comparative study of print newspapers with their online counterparts and exclusively online newspapers among Saudis , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The credibility of news outlets in the eyes of their readers is a cornerstone of their ability to exist and persist in the media landscape. With the growth of the Internet, the nature of the newspaper sector has altered radically. Online provision, now sitting alongside - and to a significant extent dominating - traditional print-based news, calls forth the need to re-examine and understand the nature of newspaper credibility. Academic work to date has placed particular focus on understanding the potentially changing nature of credibility in Western contexts, from Western analytical perspectives. Considerably less work has been focused on the Middle East, and work on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in particular, is sparse. It is the consequent gap in knowledge that this research project seeks to contribute to closing. The case of KSA is particularly interesting in that the use of online media for creating, disseminating and consuming information has shown very strong growth. Evidence gathered in the research through the deployment of a mixed methods approach was analysed through the application of framework derived from Social Identity Theory and the concepts of media credibility and reliance in order to answer the project's research questions. Quantitative research was based on a questionnaire aimed at gathering evidence to ascertain how personal characteristics influence the stated credibility and reliance of respondents on 18 Saudi local newspapers (6 print with their 6 online counterparts and 6 online exclusively newspapers). Qualitative research, based on a semi-structured interview, explored in detail with a selected sample of questionnaire respondents, their credibility perceptions in order to establish shared meanings that shape the credibility criteria evident in the questionnaire data. From this analysis, through the application of Social Identity Theory, four social categories were found to be associated with the Saudi audiences in terms of their perceived credibility of news outlets. Age, gender and religiosity levels were found to be important factors in shaping these four dominant social categories. The findings led to the presentation of recommendations for news stakeholders and future research. Key words: Saudi Arabia, newspapers, Social Identity theory, media credibility, media reliance

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Depositing User: Abdullah Mohammad A Maqbul
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2019 11:29
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 11:29
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/52911

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