alexa Digital Media and Educational Role Study Case of an Arabic E-Magazine

ISSN: 2165-7912

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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Digital Media and Educational Role Study Case of an Arabic E-Magazine

Thouraya Snoussi*
Head of College of Mass Communication, Al Ghurair University, Dubai, UAE
*Corresponding Author: Thouraya Snoussi, Associate Professor, Head of College of Mass Communication, Al Ghurair University, Dubai, UAE, Tel: +971 4 420 0223, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Dec 13, 2017 / Accepted Date: Jan 24, 2018 / Published Date: Jan 27, 2018

Abstract

ICT appear as primordial motor of changes related to Family concept and its fundaments as well. These technological transformations started designing a new image of modern family far from the typical Arabic and Islamic schema implemented decencies ago. We witness a real restructuration of the family concept in globalized standards which are relatively away, from our Arabic and Islamic culture, as well as the values, ethics, and behaviors that should prevail in the Muslim community. The present paper advocates from the pivotal question: “What are the most important features of the Arab and Islamic culture that the E-magazine “Happy Family” wants to its audience to adhere to through its published articles?” A content analysis of all articles published in the E-Magazine “Happy Family”, will be able to determine the most important values and behaviors that the sender insist on their implementation and maintenance in the family environment in order to preserve the Arab and Muslim identity and preserve the spirit of the Muslim Family.

Keywords: Communication; Information; Social media

Background

Modern information and communication technologies have a tremendous effect on our society. They are appointed as the main cause of social disorder and human relationship amputation in many cases.

In order to preserve the stereotypical image of the Arab and Muslim family, a number of researchers and thinkers sought to instill the components of our family culture and spread out its pillars through new media, such as the Family Magazine entitled “Happy Family”.

We need to ask the question about: What are the most important features of the Arab and Islamic culture that the E-magazine “Happy Family” wants its public to adhere to through its published articles? What are the most important educational messages that the newspaper calls readers to follow and abide by its principles to prevent the danger of media globalization and the disintegration of the Arab and Muslim civilization?

This research study encloses three main assumptions:

1. The variety of media material published through the E-Magazine cover a diversity of educational, ethical, and social topics, affecting the family, without raising any topics that exceed family sphere.

2. In order to attract the largest number of audiences, all age groups are targeted through the E- magazine.

3. The interest showed by cyber readers towards the E-Magazine content tends to be limited due to the competition in the cyber space because cultural and educational contents are always considered as non-attractive compared to advertisement.

Objectives

Identify the kind of Arab morals, traditions, rules and ethics posted and supported through the E-Magazine “Happy Family”,

Analyzing the stereotypical image of the Arabic family that the sender is trying to convince his audience about its value and virtues,

Measure out the Readers interest towards the E-Magazine content, through the space reserved for comments and the tracked numbers of viewers.

Methodology

We will proceed to a content analysis of all articles published in the E-Magazine “Happy Family”.

Magazine “Happy Family”

The E-Magazine contains nine main rubrics occupied prominent places in the home page. We also noticed some marginal elements in terms of size, such as “The site lens “: It contains pictures taken by the magazine owner, during his academic and educational activities. And “the versions of the writings”: It is about a promotional rubric, with sound albums offered for sale. The E-Magazine includes also an interactive rubric “participate with Us”: This space is reserved to a question directed to the audience, about the value of the paper book of in the age of electronic book.

Content analysis of the electronic magazine “happy family”

Front page design: The Banner occupying the top part of the Home page of the electronic magazine “happy family” is composed by a manned space decorated combining picture crags and thoughtful symbols that are consistent with the concept of a happy family in the imagination of the designer. This space is overshadowed by the green color, which according to the standard anthropologist that we adopt in the cinema studies, the color of an evocative Liberty symbolizes the heaven which is the symbol of the eternal happiness for Muslims [1].

Moreover, the lines and words came in white color, which is recognized from many semiotic studies perspective, as the color of the serenity, peace and tranquility [2]. We believe that the designer was totally right, when linking the scene with the evocative heading of “Happy Family”. It seems that he succeeded in summarizing the concept of happiness through the written lines; highlighted cottage, sun, young boys…etc. This helps to bring together a complete scene in the definition of a real pleasure from the magazine’s designer perspective. The sun symbolizes the lighting; the cottage is the house where we live in; and the children are a reference to an important source of happiness in life for Muslim Arab society, as the almighty after in the name of God the Merciful” money and boys are real sources of eternal happiness in the life of the world” « ةايحلا ةنيز نونبلاو لاملا ايندلا »-(verse 46 of Al Kahf) ملعا هللاو (Figure 1 and Table 1).

mass-communication-journalism-content-analysis-E-magazine-articles

Figure 1: Content analysis of the E-Magazine articles.

No Rubrics No. of Articles % No. of Words %
1 Our News 5 10.63 347 0.26
2 Family news 7 14.89 2040 1.54
3 By Al Mutawaa 5 10.63 1884 1.42
4 Happy Family 5 10.63 111103 84.17
5 Husbands and wives 5 10.63 3145 2.382
6 Parents 5 10.63 2200 1.666
7 Approaching to marriage 5 10.63 3381 2.56
8 Family budget 5 10.63 5446 4.12
9 Suspicions and responses 5 10.63 2440 1.84
Total 47 100 131986 100

The rubrics are composed by articles all written in 11 bold Typed in “Arab traditional font”.

Table 1: Content of “Happy Family” articles

The E- Magazine “happy Family” includes 9 rubrics. Each rubric is composed by 5 press articles, except the rubric “family news” with 7.

The rubrics are composed by articles all written in 11 bold Typed in “Arab traditional font”.

The researcher has used the program Word Count in counting the words numbers and revealing the quality of boldface, where we have copied all the articles of the E-magazine, and pasting the pages in the word count.

In order to have a deeper idea about the nature of raised topics in the studied E-Magazine, we chose to proceed to a monographic description of all the articles included in “Happy Family” (47 units).

The rubric “Our News” has in its main page the headlines of an article covering the graduation of a new batch of Al-Nour Chair” as being his founder. Five links were archived in the interior pages [3,4].

The topics contained in the rubric “Our News” are:

“The graduation of a new batch of a Chair Nour”: The article is media coverage for the graduation ceremony. The article is accompanied by the graduate student’s picture.

Opening Conference of Sweden, on the “Religion is the treatment”: The article is speaking about the Electronic magazine owner, delivering a lecture about the mentioned above topic.

“First Meeting at schools: applying a global fun approach “: The article points a lecture by Dr. Jassim Al Mutawa, as the President of the Governing Council of library “global” about global education method.

“The education cycle”: an old announcement about a conference dating back to the year 2010.

“I want Security not Happiness”: A TV program add, untitled “happy family” by Dr. Jassim Al Mutawa.

We conclude that inside the rubric “Our News”, the writer has devoted the space entirely to the coverage of the activities of examined electronic magazine owner. We believe that it is alike promotional rubric rather than educational one.

The rubric “Family News” includes five articles addressing several issues of concern to the family:

Discussions on the health of the Child in the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood: It contains coverage of the event. The news came shortly on the home page, (about 30 words) while internal page included the rest of the news. In this article, the writer tackled various issues related to the Council, but we noted we note the absence of pictures of current news. The writer just encapsulates the image of the “Logo” of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood.

Hitting children helps them to succeed: The article summarizes the results of a study published in the newspaper “Daily Telegraph”, about the benefits of hitting children. Although the topic was of great importance in the field Family, the editor has tacked only the role of news reporter and did not dig in greater depth in the issue of hitting children and did not give an opinion from family, social and religious perspectives etc., work in distance in Saudi Arabia...women is the biggest beneficiary: Which is an old article to review the results of the research study issued by the council of the development of human resources in Saudi Arabia.

20 days in the desert to help persons with disabilities: A long article describing a UAE young man walk trip that lasted for about a month in the Empty Quarter desert for collecting donations for persons with disabilities. The news editor only lists the details of the young man trip without linking it to the deep significance of the initiative, which is the need for volunteering and cooperation, and passion to do good things to others.

Women’s skin is more wrinkling than men’s: an article summarizing the results of the of a medical research study made by a group of westerner’s doctors.

Warning of the growing of sexual harassment: A coverage of the symposium program dedicated to sexual harassment in Cairo, without going deeper in raising the subject from ethical, social and religious perspective.

Muslims in Britain: a reproduction of another article taken from the newspaper “Sunday Times” on a report prepared by the Open Society Institute in Britain, on the extent of the integration of Muslims in the Western society.

In the second rubric, we notice that the writer dedicated almost all the articles for the events coverage: conferences, international organization announcements…etc.

In the rubric “by Al Mutawaa”, are included four articles with a diversified subjects:

Omar Mokhtar is still alive: an article describes a trip by the writer in Libya during which he visited the historic places which its name has been linked to the historic personality of “Omar Mokhtar”.

I asked my son who is the rich? : An article exploring the criterion of wealth and poverty, and declaring at the end, the writer’s fear of the erroneous understanding of the wealth by future generations.

Youth technology from Al Medina Al Monawara: A coverage of the meeting details with the young people of “King Abdul Aziz Library” and the writer in the city of Medina, where he gave a lecture on “Youth and modern Tools of communication”. This article dealt with the concept of technological intelligence and the question of its use to serve Islam and Muslims and the spread out its values in the world.

A State without the children: The publisher discussed the idea of reluctance on marriage, focusing on its implications for society, indicating that the correct approach is that we are guided by God Almighty to achieve succession to land through marriage.

More importantly how we consider dilemma when it comes? : The writer lists two tales about Suffering, and proposed to see sufferings as a way to paradise. According to the writer’s view, it is the best way to achieve happiness in life and after.

The rubric “Happy Family” also includes five diversified articles:

Prior agreement on the division of roles: A detailed-research article on principles of sharing house burdens.

Guide to prevent the deterioration of couples relationship: The article narrates the details of the “Guide to marital relations” in Brazil. The writer only displays information without linking it to the family’s reality in the Arab World.

10 Ways to Get the Quiet Life: A lecture listing 10 rules for family stability.

How can couples avoid the danger of jealousy: It is a lesson in the need to overcome doubts between couples and to maintain mutual respect for family stability.

A practical program for happy marital life: It is a short lesson about “how to deal within the family?

So, we can summarize that this rubric was fully dedicated to raise couples issues from academic and social researches perspective. The rubric doesn’t include any topic related to sons or daughters despite the fact of its entitled (Happy Family). Only couples relationships particularities were object of focused.

The rubric “Husbands and wives” is composed of five shorts articles dedicated to women issues:

How to become a fine wife and win your loving heart husband? : It is a lesson on how to deal with the husband in a daily bases.

Blind point in the martial dialog: It is also a lesson in the importance of listening during the conversation between couples. The writer used several views of psychological and social western scientists, especially “John Gorhoul” who is specialized in the study of marital relations.

Problems of the past are poisoning the life of couples: In which the writer was concerned to a result of a study, carried out by US journal on the causes of daily marital disputes. At the end of the article, the writer stressed on the necessity of dialog.

How to turn marital violence to a quiet dialog? : This article focuses on the causes of family violence, its social roots, warns of resorting to beatings at the intensity of disagreement between couples.

Psychological touches in marital life: a critical view of the reality of family under the aggravation of differences. The writer tried to answer to a question posed at the very beginning: what should the husband do so as not to lose his wife?

This rubric is a continuity of the previous one as all the articles are talking about the couples daily problems and how to avoid miss-understandings.

The five articles included in the rubric “Parents” addressing important issues relative to the relationship between parents and children:

The deadly mistakes of marriage: The article addresses the divorce reasons and lists the reasons based on some academic researchers and experimental social studies results.

Our relationships in Family sphere….Does it changes after marriage?: The writer in this article deals with the reality of the relationship changes that occur at home between the couples freshly married. The article contains several evidences and examples of reality.

Five tips for marriage without problems: It is the shortest article in the magazine (71 words only), in which five points are listed to keep the ghost of family problems away.

Dialog between Couples: A deep lesson on the importance of dialog between couples and the foundations on which must be based.

Understanding the partner is the basis of the successful marriage: The article tackled the importance mutual understanding between husband and wife.

Despite the fact that the rubric is dedicated to couples as parents, the relationship between husband and wife is always raised in many paragraphs if not entire articles.

“Family Budget” is a financial rubric in which the writer tackled five educational lectures about how to manage the family budget except the first article dedicated to health prevention:

The extravagancy in cleaning materials use is a danger: Through the article, the author warned readers about the disadvantages of the chemical substances in the cleaners or fresh air perfumes, and called for not extravagance in the purchase and use of materials all together due to its extreme danger for family members.

Family Budget: The writer called for the need to identify the family budget as a corrective element of family stability, and was exposed to many details, also engaged with examples of the Sunna of the Prophet in the good conduct of the special budget to the house. The article is one of the longest articles published in the examined electronic magazine (3206 words).

How to calculate the annual income of the family: It’s about a detailed lesson about how to determine the annual income.

Ways to measure the budget: The article gave answers to the question: how to optimize the family consumption. The text was relatively brief and non-in-depth like previous texts.

The family budget, the problem of expenditure, the need to save: The article was exposed to several examples of the problems experienced by some families as a result of mismanagement and financial regulations. It also contained a number of recommendations on the successful measure.

“Suspicions and responses” is the last rubric that the E-Magazine, allocated to talk about several topics of interest to women from religious and legitimacy perspectives.

They claimed that revealing is the right of women, and the veil is injustice: This article addresses the issue of religious ideological concern to Muslim women and the imposition of the veil.

veil is conservative and the religion is attainable: This article also addresses the issue of the veil, it was written in a manner of hajjaji and analyzing in which the writer was concern with the holy Koran and Sunna, and the writer explained the evidences between the facilitative citizen in the Koran, but he stressed on the necessity of commitment to veil because it was imposed by holy Koran and may not be dropped.

The suspicion that the legacy of the female is just half of the legacy of the male: The article says that the question of inheritance of women to half of the man is not a general position and steady base bequeath Islam for both males and females.

The understanding of “Hadith” that it is not authorized for women to fast and her husband is present, only with his permission: It is an article about the necessity of consulting the wife to the husband before the intention of fasting. The writer‘s argumentation was based on the Koran and the Sunna.

The suspicion that the women is a distorted bone: In this article, the writer offers his understandings of the speech of the noble messenger peace be upon him, as this Hadith may mean “Women is like a bone that either you may break her down or and enjoy without any crookedness,” (Correct Al-bukhari).

To conclude this first step of content analysis based on a monographic approach that covered the totality of the 47 articles posted in the E-Magazine “Happy Family”, we can say that the content seemed to be diversified and rich in terms of treated topics: Relationship between children and parents, relationship between couples, the question of the legitimacy of the Muslim women’s hijab, the family budget management…etc.

The studied E-Magazine combined a mixture of short, medium and long articles (the first rubric “Our News” was consisting of 347 words all articles included, and the third rubric about “Happy Family” reached 111103 words). We believe that the writer is not aware about the characteristics of the online Journalism and doesn’t have enough expertise to produce for the virtual space (word wide web).

Writing scripts for online environment should be harmonious with cyber reader’s needs and demands. Good online articles are usually 300–500 words in length and mostly accompanied by an image. Some features can be longer, but it doesn’t have to appear as if it is the dominant style of writing in the E-Magazine. Long articles must appear as exceptions. The cyber reader is always a quick visitor who scans the content in seconds to decide if the posted materials are attractive enough to be read. A short article easily accessed, with hypertext, interactivity and multimedia is a good tool for attraction in online Journalist.

Next step will be focused on the Journalistic formats used in the studied E-Magazine “Happy Family” (Table 2).

Rubrics Non Journalistic Formats Journalistic Formats
Lecture/Lesson Add. Investigative article Opinion article Report Short news
Our News - 2     - 3
Family news -       6 1
By Al Mutawaa -       5  
Happy Family 4       1  
Husbands and wives 4       1  
Parents 3     1 1  
Approaching to marriage 4   1   -  
The family budget 4     1 -  
Suspicions and responses       5 -  
Total 19 2 1 7 14 4
  21 26
% 40.42 4.25 2.13 14.89 29.78 8.52
  44.67 55.33

Add.: advertisement.

Table 2: Journalistic formats used

In reference to the table above, the E-Magazine content is almost divided in two categories: only 55.33% of the posted articles adhere to the journalistic formats: Short news, reports, opinion articles and investigations. The rest of the posted articles were presented with lecture format (44.67%).

29.78% of articles were journalistic reports. The news report is known as the form of a press located in the middle stage between the fast and short news, and the journalist investigation.

We note in the same context that the content forms published, reminds us of the E- Newspaper effective rules of writing, described in “the poynter”, (the integration of WED : Writing, Editing, and Design). It is a direction of some Journalists, which indicates that the concept of electronic publication goes through the investment of the text that is being edited for publication in the printed media with the addition of the design and the integration of multimedia [5].

Thus, it becomes natural to read an article in electronic newspapers and magazines brings us to writing methods of written press including a lengthy articles and compound sentences and metaphors. The electronic newspapers become in this meaning as “News Bowl” in printed newspapers, limited to re-publishing these articles with strengthened linkages and create interactive element with the browser.

Although this trend has been exposed to criticism, especially with regard to the question of the elaboration, where many specialists in the field of information and communication sciences called to the need to be brief in the default context, many of the electronic journals and in particular specialized magazines are really depending on articles already published in printed newspapers. “Jonathan Dobb” said in this regard” that the main approach in the great majority of electronic newspapers is to provide printed materials, already published, plus other elements such as multimedia applications and connectivity referral through connections. The so-called REPACKAGE.”

From our perspective, we recognize that the electronic/cyber space is an environment that allows storage and saving of precious educational content, and thus we can go back to the information whenever we want. But the problem raised is the level of the long articles attraction in the first place and therefore to the extent of its effectiveness.

Picture usage in the E-magazine: In this part, we proceeded to a categorization of the accompanying images/pictures in the magazine. We obtained the result summarized in Table 3.

No Picture Number %
1 Writer’s picture 3 6.38
2 City 4 8.51
3 Logos 1 2.12
4 Muslims in  a Mosque 1 2.12
5 Old woman 1 2.12
6 Symbolic picture* 37 78.72

*Painting related to the topic treated in the article.

Table 3: Journalistic picture used

Despite the fact that the totality of the 47 posted articles is accompanied by photos, we noticed that the writer doesn’t pay a great attention to their quality and consistency. 78.72% of pictures used in the E-Magazine were symbolic (painting or old non-colored photos about something indirectly related to the topics).

We believe the writer’s total lack of awareness about the photos value and their inputs on the online journalistic environment. We need to emphasize that a story without a photograph is like a body without a heart. It provides evidence that the story actually happened and paints a whole new picture to the story. Pictures make it more real for the reader. As the Chinese proverb says, the pictures are worth a thousand words (Appendix 1).

The way people consume their information is changing dramatically. With the rise in mediums such as blogging, live-tweeting, and video streaming, the way we reach the cyber readers is not the same in printing area. And it’s no longer good enough to just report on the important news or write a well furniture article. The writer has to make sure that his audience: stay on his page, share his article, care enough to comment and, most of all, remember what he said: all benefits that visual content can give nowadays, is the era of featured images, info-graphics and in-article snapshots. According to Zach Kitschke, only 20% of what the audience read from the text actually sticks. However, if the writer put that information into an image, suddenly the percentage of information takes a huge leap to 80% [6].

Cyber reader’s level of interest in the E-Magazine

In order to measure the level of interest of the studied E- Magazine readers, we focused our next step on the tracked number of readings of each article included. Also, we tried to collect the comments if any from all the posted material. Our goal is to detect elements that can guide us to the real level of attraction that the studied magazine have and the degree of its popularity among the online exposed materials posted from everywhere (Table 4).

Rubrics No. of Readings* % No. of Comments %
Our News 35480 5.19 00 00
Family news 14498 2.12 00 00
by Al Mutawaa 66758 9.77 00 00
Happy Family 3391 0.05 00 00
Husbands and wives 164519 24.10 00 00
Parents 74543 10.91 00 00
Approaching to marriage 134400 19.681 00 00
The family budget 146189 21.40 00 00
Suspicions and responses 43114 6.31 00 00
Total 682892 100 00 00

*Recordings of number of reading for each article of the magazine done between September 28-30, 2016

Table 4: The proportions of the cyber reader’s interest per each rubric

According to the Tab numbers above, we can say that the majority of readers were interested by husband and wives issues (24.10%), followed by family financial aspects (21.40%).

At this level, we have to add that the size of the readings of the article entitled “how to become a fine wife and win your loving heart husband?” exceeded eighty thousand readings (Appendix 2). It occupies the first place in the readings number in the magazine.

Nevertheless, the readers’ interest remains limited in the absence of comments. (0 comments registered for all the posted articles). Besides, the tracked numbers for the readings do not necessarily mean that the reader really finishes the redaction of all and each one of the exposed articles. Reading the headlines or just a small paragraph is very possible.

Conclusion

This study aims to answer the question about “What are the most important features of the Arab and Islamic culture that the E-magazine “Happy Family” wants its audience to adhere to through the published articles?”

Based to the analysis content, we can say that many features were raised through the 47 articles posted in the E-Magazine; some of them lead to universal virtues like love, mutual respect, compassion, peace and mercy. We found many articles inviting readers to hold on these features:

• Honoring parents and taking care of them even after marriage,

• Solving family problem through dialogue,

• Good management of family budget,

• Mutual respect between husbands and wives,

• We also pointed some topics specific for Arab and Muslims people, inviting Arabic and Muslims to be committed to their religious principals and Arabic habits and traditions like:

• Women inheritance in Islam

• Women veil in Islam

• Arab and Muslim integration in western society

• Adhering to authenticity.

The studied E-Magazine incorporated also subjects with wider than family interest like the article describing a trip in Tripoli, and the one dedicated to warning of chemicals when buying cleaning materials.

So, in order to preserve high standards happy family, the studied E-Magazine incorporated a set of spiritual principles and features, some of them are specific to the Arab and Muslims cyber readers but a great numbers are universal and general that can be valid for all families over the world.

That is why; we relatively confirm the validity of our first hypothesis, concerning the diversity of media content posted through the studied E-Magazine “Happy Family”. The publisher tried to spread knowledge about educational, ethical, social and interpersonal communicational issues, from family perspective. Nevertheless, we pointed the presence of general topics exceeding the family sphere.

Concerning the targeted audience based on family structure, we can assure that the writer succeeded on targeting almost all the age groups composing Family: adults (parents), Young peoples (sons and daughters). Only small kids haven’t really been pointed with specific rubric or articles.

In the other hand, we noticed a gender distribution since the E-Magazine incorporated many articles treating topics relative to women in terms of aesthetics and behavior.

Finally, although the big number of articles reading tracked during our analysis, the interest showed by cyber readers towards the E-Magazine content tends to be limited due to the absolute absence of comments.

We believe that the nature of educational subjects treated in the E-Magazine, in addition to the length of a big number of its articles, made it difficult to interact specially with the absence of attractive pictures and images. We also have to admit that cultural and educational topics are always considered as non-attractive compared to advertisement.

This limited audience interest affects directly the efficiency of the studied E-Magazine. It reduces its role in the consolidation of educational foundations and morals in Arabic and Muslim families. This last interpretation drives us to ask the question about the identity of the ideal “communication bowl “for family Media.

References

Citation: Snoussi T (2018) Digital Media and Educational Role Study Case of an Arabic E-Magazine. J Mass Communicat Journalism 8: 358. DOI: 10.4172/2165-7912.1000358

Copyright: © 2018 Snoussi T. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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