Two Tales of One War: Understanding the Media Coverage of the Yemeni Civil War in Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Talha İsmail Duman, Furkan Halit Yolcu


This study explores the role of the media in asymmetrical conflicts between states and non-state actors. The model used in this research focuses on two political factors that have a major impact on media output: the level of involvement of countries with mass media in the war and the varying hostility among warring sides. To illustrate the importance of these factors, the study focuses on the difference in news flows between Saudi Arabia (Al Arabiya) and Qatar (Al Jazeera) over two periods, 2015–17 and 2017–20. While Saudi Arabia was highly engaged in the Yemeni civil war, Qatar experienced a deep political crisis with Saudi Arabia after 2017. The major findings from content analysis of news articles (N = 3016) published in both media outlets illustrate that while Saudis are exposed to massive amounts of mostly positive information about the Yemeni War, the Qatari public reads humanitarian issues and negative outcomes about the crisis following the 2017 Gulf crisis.


War News, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Yemeni Civil War, Media in the Middle East

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