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AUS professor authors a book on cyber engagement and pan-Arab social media
Dr. Mohammad Ayish, head of the AUS Department of Mass Communication, published a book entitled Reporting in the MENA Region, describing it as highly timely in view of the accelerating technological developments in the pan-Arab media sphere. The book highlights the use of social media as an important arena for audience engagement in the MENA region and pan-Arab media channels such as Al Arabiya, Skynews Arabia, BBC Arabic, Al Hurra, Al Jazeera, France 24, Al Hayat newspaper and CNN Arabic.
Dr. Ayish and his colleague, Professor Noha Mellor of the University of Bedfordshire in the UK, draw on focus group discussions, interviews and social media traffic surveys to examine how social and new media have been integrated into Arab and pan-Arab newsroom operations and harnessed to enhance engagement with an empowered audience.
"This is the first study of its kind to explore how pan-Arab media channels leverage the power of social media to enhance their engagements with the region's audiences.
Traditional audience exposure measurement methods are no longer effective in the age of Big Data and the Cloud. Analysis of social traffic generated by those media shows interesting results about how pan-Arab channels handle their news content in cyberspace. Interviews with some social media personnel also reveal how significant new methods of engagement are in the region's transnational communications environment," said Dr. Ayish.
According to Dr. Ayish, the book is expected to serve as a rich source of knowledge for students and researchers around the world. He states that social media is inevitably becoming an integral part of journalism in the MENA region and claims it is vital to see this feature systematically investigated.