The Use of New Media by the UK's Palestinian Diaspora

Halperin, A. 2014. The Use of New Media by the UK's Palestinian Diaspora. PhD thesis University of Westminster Faculty of Media, Arts and Design

TitleThe Use of New Media by the UK's Palestinian Diaspora
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsHalperin, A.

The Palestinian people form a nation with a rich culture and unity, but they are scattered throughout the world with no state of their own. This ‘stateless’ condition has a direct impact on Palestinians’ media consumption and media production. The reality in the region is harsh; conflicts within and without prevent journalists from operating freely. It is in this point that the problem lies: the Palestinians need for information is pressing, but as it is a conflict area there are major obstacles that impede media outlets from distributing news that would answer demands for consistency, accuracy and, most importantly, for real time updates. As the findings show, the revolution in new technology has answered the Palestinians’ demands for reception of news from home. The availability of hundreds of news websites has eased the diasporic Palestinians’ ability to access information; a fact which is highly important at times of major news events. The Palestinians in the diaspora are an active audience. They create websites and blogs to disseminate their personal stories and to receive updates from Gaza and the West Bank from the people who live there. The new technologies are bypassing geographical distance and editorial guidelines and they help to overcome the news problem, which was significant before the WWW revolution, overcoming delays to enable the immediate dissemination of news.

Interestingly enough, the Israeli media is a major information source for diasporic Palestinians. The main reasons for using Israeli media are: their professionalism
and the will to understand the Israelis’ point of view. The researcher is an ‘outsider’ researcher. The benefits, in this respect, are there is a lack of the constraints that a Palestinian researcher might have. This study has contributed to knowledge in the fields of diaspora studies, adding to knowledge on those diasporic groups that strive for independence and live in conflicted spheres, and in the fields of new media and Arab media through Palestinians’ utilisation of new media for political ends, and the expansion of their social networks, which serve
as transnational meeting places.

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