Popular ambiguity surrounding the relationship between Qatar, Al-Jazeera, and the latter organization’s championing of the Arab Spring has inhibited transparent and constructive debate on the geopolitical ramifications of Al-Jazeera’s coverage of events inside Tunisia, Libya, and Syria, thus indirectly leading to the deteriorating security situation being witnessed in the Arab world today, which runs counter to liberal-democratic reform. My thesis ultimately argues that Al-Jazeera’s journalistic ethos must be reformed in order to promote media democracy, liberal-democracy, and to contain the incessant growth of militant fundamentalism in the Arab World. I use two major research strategies: (1) a quantitative analysis of data on the promotion of “Brand Qatar”, of which Al-Jazeera is a part and parcel, and (2) three country-specific case studies of the relationship between Qatar, Al-Jazeera, and the Arab uprisings comprising Tunisia, Libya, and Syria. Data was collected from academic journals and books, press reports, Al-Jazeera archives, and interviews.
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Thesis advisor: Hackett, Robert
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