Senior projects address media and politics interrelationship

April 12, 2022
Projects by students from Northwestern University in Qatar and Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) examined the interrelationship between politics and mass media as part of their media and politics minor, a joint program by the two schools.
Each year, students from Northwestern Qatar and GU-Q pursuing the media and politics minor present their capstone projects on selected topics in the fields of politics and media that they explored during their undergraduate careers. This year’s presentations included research projects on Brexit in the media, nationalism on social media, and the link between personality traits and social media use.
A project by Northwestern Qatar student Noora Al-Mana examined the role mainstream media played in shifting British citizens’ opinions about their country’s exit from the European Union. Al-Mana’s paper, which analyzes media narratives and public opinion polls, won the best video presentation award for challenging the theory that media works on reinforcing pre-existing beliefs only.
Another Northwestern Qatar project presented by Ena Palaska, which won an award for the best reflective essay, looked at nationalism and its role in shaping identity through narratives of resilience and conflict in social media. Focusing on the modern-day construction of nationalism, Palaska examined how Kosovo and Serbia’s narratives of conflict and resilience were portrayed on social media through the experiences of high-profile celebrities such as Dua Lipa and Novak Djokovic.
“The projects by Northwestern and Georgetown students address pressing issues in media studies and politics at a time when the distinction between the two fields is increasingly blurred,” said Marwan M. Kraidy, dean and CEO of Northwestern Qatar. “I am proud of our collaboration with GU-Q, which capitalizes on the strengths of both universities to provide students with an in-depth understanding of how politicians, diplomats, and policy-makers influence, and are themselves influenced by, the media in its myriad forms.”
Established in 2013 through a collaboration between Northwestern Qatar and Georgetown University in Qatar, the media and politics minor provides students from both universities with an in-depth understanding of the relationship between media and politics and the ability to synthesize insights from multiple disciplines.
Scott Curtis, associate professor of communication at Northwestern Qatar, says the media and politics presentations are the culmination of research and academic work by students and faculty from both universities coming together to examine the evolving landscape of media and politics. “The media and politics minor allows students to explore the interrelations between media and politics and to facilitate greater collaboration in knowledge production,” added Curtis.
Student presentations can be accessed here.