The role of the Egyptian mass media in the formation of young Egyptians' images of foreign people and foreign countries : a content analysis and audience study
This study included a content analysis and audience study. It was carried out to investigate the question about the role of the mass media in the formation of Young Egyptians' images of foreign people and foreign countries. The content analysis was performed on a sample of foreign news in the daily newspaper al-Akhbar, radio and television news bulletins and current affairs programmes. From the content-analysis it was found that four main factors were influencing the coverage and selection of foreign news across the Egyptian mass media. Those are: the sources of foreign news, Egypt's relationships with other countries, cultural proximity and geographical proximity. In this concern, the findings support those from the interviews conducted with a sample of Egyptian journalists and broadcasters. It was also found that the images of foreign people and foreign countries portrayed in the mass media differed and that the above factors play a major role in these images. The audience study was carried out on a sample of young people (men and women), from the middle and working classes and two geographical areas (Cairo and Upper Egypt). Results of the survey showed that images of the respondents about foreign people and foreign countries differed across the above three variables. Generally speaking, it was found that these images, which change over time, were influenced to a great extent, by politics. They may also depend on the available sources of information and the sort of information received from these sources. The formation of these images is a complicated process which may be influenced by mass media as well as external non-media influences. Whatever the other influences, those of the mass media always remain strong as they were found to be the most important sources of information on foreign people and foreign countries.