36. Name: Yasser M. Al Hussein Title: The Role of Arabic Satellite Channels in the Formation of Regional Public Opinion: A Comparative Study between Al Jazeera and Al Manar Institution: Omdurman Islamic University Country: Sudan Date: 2008 Language: Arabic Abstract: This study explores the ability of Arabic satellite channels to play a leading role in shaping the Arab public opinion on major Arab issues. It focuses on the influence of Al Jazeera and Al Manar satellite channels. This comparative analytical study surveyed a sample of viewers of both channels and concluded with a number of findings including the following: A large percentage of the sampled population watches Al Jazeera regularly, while only a small percentage watches Al Manar, most of which only watch occasionally. A large percentage of the sample qualified that Al Jazeera’s programmes are lead programmes and they were keen on watching them, while only a small percentage finds this to be true for Al Manar. According to the survey, Al Jazeera contributes positively to the formation of an Arab public opinion unlike Al Manar. The study also found that Al Jazeera’s media discourse is detached from Qatar’s political environment and seeks to reflect the Arab reality and aspirations of Arab masses. Contrary, Al Manar’s media policy is associated with a language that aim to promote Hezbollah’s political agenda and doctrine.
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