Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Communication

Major Professor

Fred Steier, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Co-advisor:

Keywords

Comparative media systems, Development communication, Critical media studies, Broadcasting policy, Arab media

Abstract

Like many developing countries, and for many years, Morocco has sought the help of television to disseminate development ideas to its citizens. The Moroccan government has recently given policy considerations to regulate the use of television and radio airwaves as important outside sources for promoting its development objectives. The newly assigned importance of television in Moroccan developmental policies makes a study on the relationship between television and development interesting and crucial. This study investigates the extent to which the Moroccan public service television meets the challenges of effectively contributing to the development objectives of the nation. It focuses on the two government-owned public service television stations, Radiodiffusion et Television Marocaine (RTM) and Soread 2M.

Based on initial observations, the general hypothesis is that television programming decisions in the two public television stations are influenced by the elite class that wants more entertainment and has less need for educational programs than their rural and urban-poor counterparts. Concerning methodology, the study uses three main areas in critical media studies: content analysis, production analysis, and audience analysis. The study conducted a quantitative and a qualitative content analysis of a sample of Moroccan produced programs to examine the developmental themes addressed by the two public service television stations. Concerning the production study, the study carried out a critical assessment of the current choices undertaken by the TV producers in the two public service television stations through conducting in-depth interviews with media executives. The third important area is audience reception.

Addressing this area helps tackle these research questions from both 'sides' of the screen, examining the issues from the perspectives of both the broadcasters and the audience. The audience reception study assesses the opinions of television viewers on the quality of Moroccan produced programs and their perceptions on the public service provided by the two TV stations. The audience study uses focus groups as a standalone data-gathering strategy. Finally, the study offers a list of recommendations for the use of TV for development.

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