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The problem of top-down techno-centrism in pan-Arab news media

Al-Ghazzi, Omar ORCID: 0000-0001-9905-409X and Al-Najjar, Abeer (2024) The problem of top-down techno-centrism in pan-Arab news media. LSE Middle East Centre Paper Series (86). LSE Middle East Centre, London, UK.

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What drives the logic and culture of digitisation in pan-Arab news? Based on interviews conducted with Arab journalists and editors in London and Dubai, as well as focus groups with Arab students, this paper shows the prevalence of a top-down techno-centric approach in the pan-Arab news industry. We define this as the push for the adoption of technology in news to serve state funders of media organisations rather than audience interests. We identify three key features of top-down techno-centrism in Arab news organisations. These are: 1) perceiving audience apathy about news as a problem of technology rather than content, 2) seeking to expand digital following and deploying digital aesthetics in news in pursuit of prestige for state-funded media rather than of providing a public service, and 3) relying on flawed and limited data on audience attention, use and interest, including the conflation of social media metrics with audience figures and public opinion. This culture of pursuing new technologies in Arab news, we argue, fails to consider the perspectives and priorities of both journalists and audiences and ends up being a convenient strategy to evade fundamental questions in journalism pertaining to freedom, trust and public interest.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 01 May 2024 08:12
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 23:18

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