Northwestern University in Qatar and the Doha Film Institute have set April 16 as the release date for results of a study that will provide rare insights into entertainment media use in the Arab world. On that date, the full report and an interactive data exploration tool will be published at mideastmedia.org.
The research, which explores how people access, consume, and feel about entertainment media was conducted in six countries: Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia.
The survey contains over 6,000 face-to-face interviews with nationally representative samples from the six Arab countries. The respondents answered questions on a wide range of topics, including the role of entertainment media in their lives and the cultural attitudes shaped by this media.
Dean and CEO of NU-Q, Everette E. Dennis, said the findings will contribute to a greater understanding of attitudes towards local vs. foreign content, the role of social media in content choice, censorship, and the influence of media on children, among other issues.
“Our partnership with the Doha Film Institute is a vital advantage to the survey,” Dennis said. “NU-Q and DFI’s strengths in academia and industry respectively have supported this research in its exploration of issues that will benefit industry professionals, scholars, policy makers and the general public.”
Northwestern University in Qatar and Doha Film Institute joined forces in November to collaborate on the research. Fieldwork finished in February and researchers from both organizations are currently processing the results.
“This research is the first of its kind. We believe it will greatly benefit all sectors of the media and entertainment industry who have an interest in this region and assist them in making informed decisions supported by real data,” said Abdulaziz Al-Khater, CEO of Doha Film Institute.
The findings will also be discussed at the upcoming fourth session of the Qatar Media Industry Forum; an NU-Q initiative that brings together Qatar’s leading media figures to discuss and explore key issues in Qatari and regional media industries.
This study builds on a survey focusing on news and information media use in the Arab world, conducted by NU-Q in 2013 (menamediasurvey.northwestern.edu).