Saudi Arabia: From national media to global player

Marwan M. Kraidy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


A combination of geopolitics, religion, and economics have shaped the media of Saudi Arabia. The country's media structure began as a national broadcasting system in the 1960s, alongside a well- established privately-owned Arabic-language press, and had by the 1990s evolved into a regional system of Arabic- and English- language outlets. This made Saudi Arabia the media superpower of the Middle East. The ascent of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the 2010s ushered in an era of direct control of both news and entertainment media. As a result, Saudi government influence over Arab media has grown more expansive and more direct. The desire to clamp down on dissent globally led to the disastrous killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the resulting global uproar has affected the stature of Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, Saudi Arabia's media face multiple challenges, including the difficult-to-control, burgeoning digital media environment, and the tensions arising between the kingdom's political and economic priorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArab Media Systems
PublisherOpen Book Publishers
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781800640610
ISBN (Print)9781800640597
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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