Media and Communication Landscape in Saudi Arabia Essay Example

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Media and Communication Landscape in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, most newspapers are owned privately. These newspapers are regulated and subsidized by the Saudi Arabian government. Since Basic Law states that the role of media is to inspire national unity and educate, most common grievances are not reported in Saudi Arabia. Recently, the Saudi Arabian government has allowed selected journalists to write some crucial reports. Even though, self-censorship is an approach of self-preservation for Saudi Arabia media outlets, state censorship appears to be declining particularly on journalistic inquiries into terrorism and crime. The state owns and operates television and radio companies (BSKSA) in Saudi Arabia. Censors helps in removing objectionable content deemed offensive according to Islam standards, including references to sex, pork, alcohol, Christianity as well as other religions.

Even though state officials monitor internet sites politically offensive, anti-Islam, pornographic for content, internet users in Saudi Arabia can have access to most sites by connecting via an alternate server. Recently, the state established an appeal process in which its populaces can request that specific websites should be blocked.

Saudi Arabia national TV channels depict values in newscasts. These values can indicate can indicate a message, which has negative or positive impression to the general audience. When there are more values, policy agenda can be more inculcated with public agenda. Most of the Arabic Middle East TV channels target many audiences and Saudi national TV is traditional. Presently Saudi has more than ten channels and they continue coming establishing more government channels. Saudi Arabia style of government channels can lead to watching of Saudi national TV just for soccer since its exclusive to Saudi national TV. Saudi Arabia sponsors restrictive levels of media openness in the society. Since the introduction of electronic broadcasting in 1950s, the state identified the latent for radio and television to marshal citizens politically and stir political turmoil. Therefore, the state suppresses any form of criticism of its leadership or policies and avoids damaging revelations regarding political or personal scandals. The Saudi government is using the media as an instrument of attaining its propaganda (Sabir, 2012).

Noteworthy, some level of freedom is given to the press as well as private ownership. Nonetheless, the national government exercises indirect control, and press owners show great loyalty to the incumbent regimes as well as their ideologies. Saudi Arabia press favors the ruling party and its debates are inactive. In Saudi policy agenda plays a considerable role in what the media gives the general public. The government has a key role in what it presents to the public since it regulates what journalists publish as well as what their audience gets.

Campaign against breast cancer in Saudi Arabia may not be effective since the campaigns will require advertisements in the media. Characters used in the ads may not be effective since women are the ones who are supposed to be used in the ads but instead cartoon will be used. This may not very effective in driving the message home. Breast is something that is considered to be a sexual theme and the media always avoids sexual themes. Therefore, a figurative language will have to be sued to communicate the message and this implies that this may not be effective in attaining the intended objective. In Saudi Arabia, the media has not been effective in the fight against breast cancer since the advertisements are highly regulated and women are not supposed in ads.

Interestingly, in Saudi there is no particular government agency responsible for regulating advertising behavior. Additionally, no self-regulatory industry group, and apparently there is no likelihood of developing one anytime soon. Nonetheless, firms are involved in self-compliance. Violations are monitored in two approaches.

Advancements in electronic service technology have developed many opportunities and threat to many organizations in different business as well as services sectors. Therefore, many businesses in Saudi Arabia are embracing use of internet in conducting their operations so that they can be more competitive or gain market share. Saudi Arabia does not have a reliable local production in fields of hardware or software. The high demand for information technology is met by getting overseas technologies. The trend towards high reliance on information technology by Saudi citizens particularly internet and computers is highest when it is compared to other developing nations; nonetheless, it is still below rates of ownership among developed nations. In Saudi, most adopters of new technology are the youths with substantial income (Simsim, 2011).

In Saudi defamation considered to be a criminal offense. Any kind of expression, which blasphemes or insults Islam, is punished by death since it is a crime of apostasy. In 2012, a Saudi blogger and journalist Hamza Kashgari was deported and faced death sentence over his posts which insulted Prophet Muhammad. In Saudi media policy, press needs to be an instrument that educates masses, promote national unity and publicize government opinions (Al-Ghaith, Sanzosni & Sandhu, 2010). The government does not allow the press to reveal issues that taint their image. Nonetheless, the social media such as Facebook and Twitter provides an opportunity to citizens to express their opinions and reveal corrupt cases since it has to regulate social media (Bresciani & Schmeil, 2013). Noteworthy, the state monitors and blocks websites easily since internet traffic is directed through state-run proxy in King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology. Access to Youtube is limited since not all the content in Youtube can be accessed easily since it has some content that is considered offensive according to Islam (Dubai School of Government, 2012).

Health is very important for proper growth and development of an individual. Web 2.0 along with social computing phenomena, for instance, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and MySpace, can be used in creating awareness in Saudi Arabia. Patients in Saudi need to change from being consumers of internet material to generators of information using Web 2.0 tools. Social media needs to be used to provide space to discuss medical conditions. Patients as well as their families need to use social media technologies so that they can share their experiences with other.

Late 1990 saw an increase in internet adoption usage in Saudi Arabia. Higher learning institutions were the first to adopt the technology. After some time use of internet experienced unparalled spread across different campuses. Large portions of budgets in higher education are apportioned to offer novel technology. Most of the fund is spent on establishing computer labs, hardware as well as improving infrastructure so that it can guarantee high-speed access to internet. Even though some universities in the Kingdom had limited access to internet before 1998, December 1998 internet diffusion started across the local campuses (Al-Shawi & Al-Wabil, n.d).

Media and Communication Landscape in Saudi ArabiaComparison between the different purposes of using the Internet

Media and Communication Landscape in Saudi Arabia 1


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