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Title: Political ideology and the language of news : a case study of two Arabic emigrant dailies in London: Al-Hayat & Al-Quds Al-Arabi
Author: Al-Kindi, Abdullah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 909X
Awarding Body: The University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis concentrates on the effects of political ideology on the contents of the Arabic emigrant press, especially the London based Al-Hayat and Al-Duds Al-Arabi. There are some academic studies about the history of the Arabic emigrant press, but there is no single study examining in depth the journalistic work styles or the character of language used by these dailies to describe events. There are two issues under study: the Gulf War of 1990, and the Islamic political movements in Algeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The findings of this thesis are derived from 340 newspaper issues under study (140 issues about the Gulf War of 1990 and 200 issues about the Islamic political movements). The area of ideology, in particular political ideology is the theoretical framework of the thesis. From this area, the researcher borrowed the concept and theory of ideology and its relation to language and media discourse. The main focus of this study will be on both manifest and latent contents of the newspapers under study. From the media theory perspective, the present thesis is related to two theoretical frameworks: political economy and representation approaches. The first one will help to explain the political and economic reasons behind selecting specific news items. The political economic approach will also define the political and economic pressures which decide the news values of a given newspaper. The second approach to which this thesis is related is representation. This approach will help to answer the question of how the newspapers represented the issues and actors under study through their language and to what extent these representations could be considered as ideology. The thesis employs content and discourse analysis as a research methodology. The researcher uses the traditional quantitative approach of content analysis and use discourse analysis as a qualitative approach of the same methodology. The framework of discourse analysis in this thesis, depends on the literatures of Fairclough, Fowler, and Van Dijk. One of the main findings that this thesis has reached is that the Arab emigrant press in London suffers from the same elements of pressures which affect journalism in most parts of the Arab world. For instance, both kinds of Arab press (local and emigrant) are affected by political regimes, ownership and subsidisation, advertisements, and censorship. In this thesis we will notice how the newspapers under study are affected by the censorship in the Arab world as well as the influence of some Arab political regimes. In reporting the Gulf War of 1990, Al- Hayal was affected by the Saudi censorship which led it to reduce Iraq as an important actor and place in that conflict. The newspaper's relations with Saudi Arabia also prevented the newspaper from explaining the motives of the suspects behind exploding the two American residential complexes in Saudi Arabia. It is true that the newspaper adopted one position toward the activities attributed to the Islamic groups in the Arab world, but when Saudi Arabia became the target of such activities the newspaper just condemned the explosions without searching or presenting any reasons for them because of its sensitive relationship with the Saudi government. AI-Quds AI Arabi depending on its identity (the owner and the editor -inchief in that time were Palestinian, decided to support Iraq in the Gulf War of 1990. Furthermore, the newspaper claimed that Iraq would be able to confront the coalition led by the USA to liberate Kuwait, so the newspaper, before the start of Desert Storm on 17.1.1991, supported the military solution to solve the Gulf crisis. In reporting the Islamic political movements in the Arab world, the newspaper took two different attitudes: it rejected the activities of these movements in Algeria and Egypt and supported to a large extent the two explosions in Saudi Arabia which were attributed to Islamic groups and individuals
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: JISC Digital Islam
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available