Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Onyebadi, Uche

Second Advisor

Frith, Katherine

Abstract

MAJOR PROFESSORS: DR. UCHE ONYEBADI & DR. KATHERINE T. FRITH This dissertation was conducted to determine whom the Kuwaiti newspapers indexed in their news reports during the Karamat Watan protests, and how Twitter influenced the indexing process. This study also examined how and why Twitter affected Kuwaiti journalists' agenda building process during their coverage of the protests. For the purpose of this study, the theoretical framework was the indexing model and the agenda building theory. To answer the research questions and hypothesis in this dissertation the researcher used a mixed method approach, comprising the quantitative content analysis of Kuwaiti newspapers and qualitative in-depth interviews with Kuwaiti journalists. The content analysis results show that Kuwaiti newspapers indexed more public views than official views in their coverage of the Karamat Watan protests and the number of non-official sources is larger than the number of official sources in the coverage of the event- driven news. Also, the analysis shows that during the protests the independent newspapers indexed more public views than the semi- official newspapers in Kuwait. Furthermore, the interviews show that Kuwaiti journalists were not unanimous in their opinions regarding the role of twitter in their agenda building process during the protests. While some of them believed that twitter was a good tool that helped them in their coverage of the protests in particular and other events in general, others said that it was hard to be confident about the credibility of the online sources.

Available for download on Sunday, August 20, 2017

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