Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Depending On Twitter For Breaking News: A Comparison Between American And Saudi Students

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Journalism

First Advisor

Kristen A. Swain

Second Advisor

Debora H. Wenger

Third Advisor

Robert Magee

Relational Format



This thesis aimed to measure the extent of American and Saudi students' dependence on twitter to get breaking news and how they interact with this platform in light of uses and gratifications theory. To investigate the similarities and differences between the two groups, 91 American students and 98 Saudi students participated in an online survey in spring 2018. It concluded that both American and Saudi students depend on twitter to get breaking news, and finding out what is happening is the first motivation to use twitter. While most Saudi students voted for twitter as the most important source to get news, most American students rely on online journalism as the first source. Also, while American students like to tweet to represent their own ideas, Saudi students do not. Unlike American students, Saudi students avoid posting regarding breaking news to avoid conflict with others and they get confused when they are exposed to conflicting perspectives. Some similarities between two groups were found. Both groups check mostly their twitter accounts from smartphone devices, and they selected accounts created by newspapers as their first choice to follow for news on twitter. Tweets with photos or videos are the most preferred structure among American and Saudi students, and both depend on online journalism to get more details after they get the news from twitter.


Track: Academic

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