Arabs motives for using new media: a uses and gratifications perspective

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Abstract

In western countries, where citizens have access to many avenues for expressing themselves, new media may not be used for this purpose. In the Arab World, however, citizens may use new media mainly for expressing oneself; because there are very few permitted forms of expression and new media maybe the only form permitted. That said, previous work has focused on countries where citizens are able to express themselves using many methods. There is a need to understand Arabs motives for using new media. The study reported herein seeks to address this need for research. The study employed two stages of investigation: the first stage used a descriptive online questionnaire to report users’ perceptions relating to their motives for using Al Arabiya site, which is one of the highly ranked sites in the Arab World. The second stage also used an online questionnaire to explore users’ motives for using Al Arabiya site; but this survey was quantitative and was driven by the Uses and Gratifications theory. To measure users'™ motives in this survey, Papacharissi and Rubin (2000) internet motives scale was used with modification. The modification involved incorporating some of the results from the descriptive stage into the Papacharissi and Rubin scale. A principal component analysis was used to extract interpretable factors. An eigenvalue of 1.0 or greater was used to retain factors.Results from the second stage indicate that Interpersonal Utility, which accounted for 28% of the variance, was the most salient motive for using Al Arabiya site. Interestingly, the Interpersonal Utility factor included several statements relating to '˜expression' including 'to express my opinion freely'€™,'˜to participate in discussions', and 'to express my opinion about the issues that matter to me'. Papacharissi, Z., & Rubin, A. M. (2000). Predictors of internet use. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 44, 175-€Â'196
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMediAsia2013
Subtitle of host publicationÂ'The Fourth Proceedings
Place of PublicationAichi, Japan
PublisherInternational Academic Forum
Pages71-81
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAsian Conference on Media and Mass Communication - Osaka, Japan, Japan
Duration: 08 Nov 201310 Nov 2013

Publication series

Name
ISSN (Print)2186-5906

Conference

ConferenceAsian Conference on Media and Mass Communication
Country/TerritoryJapan
Period08/11/1310/11/13

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