Marwan M. Kraidy

Published On


Page Range

pp. 91-108

Print Length

17 pages

6. Saudi Arabia

From National Media to Global Player

  • Marwan M. Kraidy (author)
Chapter of: Arab Media Systems(pp. 91–108)
A combination of geopolitics, religion, and economics have shaped the media of Saudi Arabia. A structure that began as a national broadcasting system in the 1960s, alongside a well-established privately-owned Arabic-language press, 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 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 from the kingdom’s political and economic priorities.


Marwan M. Kraidy