Countering stereotypes through research

Northwestern University in Qatar’s survey offers extensive and valuable intelligence about the media that people adopt, use, and prefer as well as their attitudes and opinions about the role, impact, and importance of mediated communication in their lives and the lives of others across the Middle East region.

Justin D. Martin, associate professor in residence at Northwestern University in Qatar, speaks with the Northwestern main campus about his work as a principal investigator of the University's Media Use in the Middle East study and the value of the data for journalists, students, non-academics, scholars, and industry professionals.

“In the West, the Arab region is often viewed as a monolithic whole, but we see many significant differences between individual countries,” says Martin. For example, Qatar has one of the world’s lower Facebook penetration rates — just 23 percent of Qatari internet users use Facebook —while in Tunisia the rate is 83 percent. “So you have two Arab countries often lumped together in discussions of an ‘Arab World,’ but whose citizens communicate in highly different ways.” 

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