Mrs Kholood Alqahtani - BA English Lit (S. Arabia), MA Journalism Studies (Cardiff)
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75688
Location: Room 1.24, Bute Building
Letters to the Editor’s role in bridging the gap between the Western reader and the Arab world, Case study: Arab News Newspaper.
More recent political circumstances that have seen a number of radical extreme groups committing violence in the name of ‘Islam’, have led - not surprisingly - to perception of Islam as a violent and negative religion, specially by Westerners. This made me question as an Arab journalist: What is the role of Arab media in correcting this misrepresentation? Is there any kind of communication or interactivity with the Western reader?
Letters to the editor in newspapers play a major role in terms of interactivity and communication between the readers and the staff. Studies and readership surveys show that the editorial section and letters continue as one of the most popular features in a newspaper, people read the letters to the editor section more than they read the editorials by journalists. My PhD will focus on letters to the editor after 9/11 and questions of interactivity between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ or Muslims and the West. This work will involve carrying on a part-time ethnography for four months in the newspaper’s headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It will include watching closely the daily process of producing this page and its gatekeepers’ sociology, in addition, interviews and a focus group will be conducted with the letters to the editor newsmen. Also, a content analysis and discourse analysis of the letters to the editor in Arab News, looking at both ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ letters.
Some of the research questions include:
- What is the role of Arab News newspaper in creating a Saudi-Western public sphere? Is it enough?
- How do letters by Westerners to the editor challenge the discursive reproduction of hegemonic idea of the clash of civilisations?
Arab media, representation, Orientalism, manufacturing of news, newsroom sociology, feminist media studies, and audience perceptions of news.
BA in English Literature (King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia), MA in Journalism Studies (Cardiff University), and Diploma in language interpreting (Cardiff University).
I am a Saudi journalist and editor working for Arab News newspaper (an English daily newspaper based in Jeddah). At present I am undertaking a PhD in Journalism Studies at Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, (Cardiff University).