Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Al Jazeera satellite channel : a propaganda instrument of the Qatari regime or an oppositional force in the quest for democracy?
Author: Al-Shammari , Tariq
Awarding Body: University of Winchester
Current Institution: University of Winchester
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This study explores three dimensions of the relationship between Al Jazeera channel and the Qatari state: the administrative, the financial and the editorial. Moreover, it investigates 1) whether journalists of the channel are able to enjoy complete professional autonomy in their selection of news stories, 2) whether or not they have the freedom to discuss Qatari issues without any editorial interference and 3) whether they can avoid revealing their news sources. In addition to that, the study explores the importance of Arab cultural identity in news making on the channel. Finally, it examines whether any of the four theories of press identified by Schramm are applicable. To achieve these aims, the study uses three academic methods: the case study, the content analysis and the interview methods. The study concluded that, though the channel has a large amount of freedom more than any other Arab news organisation, still it is an official Qatari media news organisation, launched, financed administrated by the Qatari government. It was launched as a new media innovation in Qatar to promote the principles of democracy and the values of free media in Arab world. However, partly because of its origins as a project introduced by the Qatari state, it tends not to contradict or oppose the general policy of Qatar. One of the key conclusions of the research is that journalists working for the channel do not enjoy complete professional autonomy and that they cannot freely select or choose the news they want to deal with; they cannot discuss Qatari sensitive issues in the talk shows or other programmes and that they experience significant pressure to reveal their news sources. This lack of freedom is imposed under the editorial system of the organisation. The thesis argues that the channel has three types of relationship with Qatari state. Firstly, the Qatari government provides the channel with the annual budget that secures the channel’s financial resources to maintain its work and its media and editorial policy. Secondly, a strong regulatory and administrative framework compels the channel to comply with all governmental regulations that relate to the Amiri decree which established the channel and its amended articles. Finally, the thesis argues that the editorial policy indirectly denies journalists opportunities to cover Qatari affairs which might embarrass the government. Thus, there is evidence of a significant dependency upon the Qatari state which means that none of Schramm’s ‘four theories of the press’ are directly applicable. The thesis concludes that journalists only enjoy a relative professional autonomy constrained and circumscribed by the external pressures described above.
Supervisor: Manning, Paul ; Esan, Oluyinka ; Leaning, Marcus Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available