Islam, nationalism and the mission of Arab journalism: a survey of attitudes toward religion, politics and the role of Arab media in the twenty-first century

Document Type



Graduate School of Media and Communications


ABSTRACT: The Bush administration has charged that reporters at Al Jazeera and other Arab media outlets are biased against the US. Whether or not such an allegation is true, it raises the central question of what influences are at work on Arab journalists at this crucial time of turmoil in the region and change in Arab media. What are their core values? To what degree do religious beliefs and ethno-nationalist attitudes shape their coverage? How do they view US policy and other regional and international issues? What do they define as the role of a journalist in the modem Arab and/or Islamic worlds? This study analyzes the responses of 517 Arab journalists who participated in the first broad, regional survey examining attitudes and values. It found that Arab journalists see the achievement of political and social change as the prime mission of Arab journalism and cited "democrat" as their primary political identity. When the views of self-declared "secular" and "religious" Muslim journalists were compared, there was little statistical difference in their attitudes on all but issues related to the role of clerics in Arab society.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: UK & Ireland