29. Name: Badreya Al-Jenaibi Title: Democracy and the Press in the Middle East (the Role of Al Jazeera) Institution: University of North Dakoda, Country: United States Date: 2008 Language: English Abstract: This study examines the relationships between Arab media and democracy in the Middle East. The study focuses on the role of Al Jazeera satellite channel in democratizing the Arab region. The literature review provides a context for the use of normative theory, authoritarian theory, social theory of the media, spiral of silence theory and deception theory. Drawing on these theoretical frameworks, the study seeks to know if Al Jazeera talk shows have increased public sphere discussions, and to what extent Al Jazeera ha contributed to free information access through its media content. To examine these issues, two groups of Arab media experts were interviewed: scholarly Arab Media experts in the United Arab Emirates and Al Jazeera channel employees in Qatar. The researcher used face-to-face and phone interviews in order to gather the research data, which were analyzed using content analysis methodology in order to identify the main themes relevant to each of the two respective Arab media groups. The themes were divided into two different sections; each section summarized the interviewees’ concepts and suggestions, which helped in drawing the research conclusions and recommendations.
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