Saudi Journalists' Perspectives on People with Disabilities

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The goal of this dissertation is to provide a deeper understanding of how Saudi news media cover people with disabilities. The role of the media in shaping public opinion is critical because journalistic reports often influence and shape people's attitudes toward disability, where news media might expose the public to the experience of people with disabilities in ways that the public might not observe firsthand. I employed in-depth interviews to gather data from participants (journalists) through a qualitative design. I had a total of six volunteers, which allowed me to gather more information on each person. In addition, I conducted textual analysis on individual newspaper stories about people with disabilities. These consisted of 60 articles from Al Riyadh, Al Jazirah, Okaz, Al Yaum, and Al Watan. These outlets were selected based on their popularity in Saudi Arabia and the accessibility of their archives. This study found that a thematic framing of disabilities was more prevalent than an episodic framing. Thematic framing focuses on the societal issues and macro-level aspects related to disabilities. In this case, education for and about people with disabilities was quite evident in the articles examined. The findings could be extrapolated to provide insights into how Saudi journalists perceive and portray people with disabilities in general.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Episodic Framing, Hierarchy of Influences, Journalists, People with Disabilities, Saudi Arabia, Thematic Framing