Visual Public Relations in Middle Eastern Higher Education: Content Analysis of Twitter Images

© Media Watch 10 (1) 41-53, 2019
ISSN 0976-0911 e-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i1/49563


Visual Public Relations in Middle Eastern Higher Education: Content Analysis of Twitter Images

1Kuwait University, Kuwait
2The University of Kansas, United States

Researchers conducted a content analysis of 537 Twitter images posted by Kuwait University, King Saud University of Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates University to examine how public universities in the Middle East use social media to promote their agenda. Researchers analyzed prominent topics and democracy frames featured in the Twitter images and the structural characteristics of those images. The analysis shows significant differences between the three universities in terms of the most prominent topic category and democracy frame. A significantly higher proportion of the Twitter images posted by Kuwait University featured educational and political topic categories. The analysis of democracy frames shows that these public universities often used their social media channels to promote the respective government’s political agenda.

Keywords: Visual content analysis, visual framing, social media,higher education, Middle East


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Husain Ebrahim (Ph.D., William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Kansas, 2017) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mass Communications at Kuwait University. Dr. Ebrahim has conducted research on the role of visuals, digital media, political affairs and public relations in the Middle East.

Hyunjin Seo (Ph.D, S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, 2010) is an Associate Professor and Docking Faculty Scholar in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. She is also a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University. Dr. Seo has conducted research on how social collaborative networks, facilitated by digital communication technologies, help mobilize movements or social problems at local, national or international levels.