The social context of news production: Internal and external influences on Arab press in London and Beirut.
thesisposted on 19.11.2015, 08:56 by Mahmoud Hassan. Tarabay
This study examines the internal and external influences on the news production process in the Arab newsrooms in London and Beirut. It does so by combining three theoretical approaches for the study of news production: the political economy approach, the social organisation of news approach and the culturological approach. In collecting data, three methods were employed: participant observation in the newsrooms, interviews with journalists and analysis of the newspapers' content. At the macro-level, the study focuses on the external influences on the news production process in the newsrooms of two Arab newspapers in London and two Arab newspapers in Beirut. The influences are those related to ownership and control, commercial determinants (advertising and circulation) and media-society linkages. Regarding the media-society linkages, the research examines: censorship, London and Beirut as specific and different "ideological environments", the occupational role and the professional ideologies of the Arab journalists, and the prospects for the Arab national press. At the micro-level, the study explores journalistic practices by focusing on two main dimensions: (1) the news gathering process, with special emphasis on the interaction between the Arab journalists and news sources; (2) the news selection process, with special emphasis on the news values. This study concludes that the use of three theoretical approaches to understand the influences on the news production process demands some qualifications. Such qualifications are necessary for a better understanding of the Arab press in London and Beirut. It also concludes that the use of three methods is useful for tackling the complexities of press organisations.