A survey of Saudis' behaviors toward twitter as a news gathering tool

by Abdullah Mohammed Almalki

Institution: Arkansas State University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Journalism; Multimedia communications; Mass communication
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2125665
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10095767


Given the increasing popularity and effect of online media, especially Twitter, as news sources, this study was designed to examine Saudis’ behaviors toward Twitter with regard to newspapers and information delivery and the role that Twitter plays in getting news updates. It investigated if Saudi Twitter users perceive Twitter as a credible source for news and rely on it to read the news more than legacy newspapers and their online counterparts. This research conducted an online survey and distributed it among Saudis who use Twitter to get news updates. The sample of this study had been drawn online by using the “SnowBall” sampling method through Survey Monkey and, the sample was collected during December 2015 and January 2016. A total of 3,003 Saudi Twitter users completed all questions in the survey. The results showed that Saudis consider Twitter as a newsgathering tool; therefore, they read news on Twitter more than reading legacy newspapers because it is easier and the fastest way of getting news, which indicated that the area of legacy newspapers in Saudi Arabia is at stake. Moreover, Saudis positively rated Twitter as a trustworthy and credible source for getting news updates. Thereby, they concurred that using Twitter has changed the path that people deal with legacy newspapers. Furthermore, non-legacy newspapers’ Twitter accounts received the lion's share of Saudis trust, especially Sabq newspaper, that was at the top as the newspaper account with the highest following. In regard to age groups, young Twitter users in Saudi Arabia trust non-legacy newspaper Twitter accounts more than older users, while old Twitter users were more likely to trust legacy newspaper Twitter accounts. The disbelief in the fairness of legacy newspapers could also be referred to the Saudis’ understanding that the government has a sweeping power to direct the media.