News Sharing via Social Media in UAE: An Explanatory Study


Digital media lower the threshold for sharing news since anyone can post links, comment on stories and even create their own content. Shared news has become a widespread means of news access. A 2016 Pew Research Center survey found that 62% of US adults obtained news via social media, compared to 49% in 2012. Mobile devices further enable news consumers to get news in multiple ways, from accessing through news apps to following news channels on social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter (Wei, Lo, Xu, Chen, & Zhang, 2014). This research examines news sharing via social media tendency and motivation among UAE Arab residents. An online questionnaire that included various types of questions was constructed to measure the research variables. The sample composed of 290 Arab residence of UAE. The results showed that 67% of the sample intensively share news via social media. Respondents rated themselves very high in fact-checking and using of credible news sources. Food, entertainment and technologies are the main news topics shared by respondents using smart phones. They tend to share news with family's and friends’ groups via WhatsApp. A significant correlation was found between the type of social media used in sharing news and the motivations for sharing.

Author Information
Azza Ahmed, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2021
Stream: Digital Media and Use of New Technology in Newsgathering

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon