The multi media international television channels and the Internet : their use by students in Jordanian state universities and their effects
This study aims to explore the importance of international satellite television channels and the internet for Jordanian students at the State Universities. It explores the impact on students' perceptions. The study pursued its aims through the use of 1150 subjects and 28 individual interviews, 14 interviews for the satellite part and 14 for the internet part. The study consisted of sample male and female students who were on role for the academic year 2000/2001 at the three main Jordanian Universities, Jordan, Yarmouk, and Muta. The reason for choosing this sample has been as they are the most active users of satellite-delivered systems and of computer technology and the internet in Jordanian society. Further, their age and status can also be identified as the group most likely to become decision-makers, occupying key positions within Jordanian Government and society in the future. The study has clearly shown an increase in the numbers of owning of these systems from only a few, who initially saw them as a status symbol, to the many, who now see them as a necessity of life. There is a rapid spread of internet cafes as well as a growth in available television programmes. As the research shows, the TV programmes are now seen as an interesting way of filling the hours when young people are not studying. The research has revealed a clash of cultures. The gravity of the contrast between the old and the new is particularly apparent in Jordan. The young people wish to be loyal to their traditional and distinctive values, but they also want to be modern, international and knowledgeable. The majority of the sample cohort used in the research has an average monthly income of between 00-200 Jordan Dinars (One JD is just equal to one British Pound). The study indicates that marked reason for owning satellite and related systems is purely social. The results indicate that the Arab satellite programmes are similar in almost all respects to western ones. But the Arab satellite television programmes are not particularly attractive to Arab audiences, because the Arab versions are poor in content and do not have the attraction of western versions. The study results also indicate that Arab satellite programmes do not help build links between the Arab emigrants and their homeland. The heaviest use and that first identified by respondents using the internet is for electronic mail. The results indicate that the internet gives the chance to access what is forbidden in traditional society and in this sense it is also an opportunity deliberately to escape from the limitations of society. The limitations imposed by society's mores are still strong in Jordan, and there is a clash between the traditional and the modern. This conflict is made obvious by the fact that religion in Jordan, as in other Arab countries, is still extremely influential and in many respects exercises control over aspects of life. This is also apparent in the home environment under family supervision. The resulting tension has been reflected in the findings.