A study entitled “Contemporary Research Trends and Horizons in Media and Communication Sciences”, scrutinizes the importance of scientific research as the right path towards change and development in Arab societies. Though this debate is age-old, the gap between the levels of research in the world as compared to the Arab World continues to widen. The significance of this study, therefore, lies in the survey conducted of a number of Arab and foreign universities, to find out about their research trends with the aim of learning about the latest research fields. These may highlight the domains which are not sufficiently researched at our universities, and thus open new horizons for research. The study conducted a survey of the MA and PhD theses conducted at six universities, namely the Faculty of Media, Cairo University; the Arab Institute for Studies and Research, affiliated to the Arab League; the Faculty of Media, the Lebanese University; the Mass Communication Department at the Faculty of Human Sciences, Beirut Arab University; as well as the University of London and Indiana University, USA. The study found that there is a scarcity of interdisciplinary studies at Arab universities compared to foreign universities; a scarcity of cinema, radio and news-agency studies at both the Arab and foreign universities; and the greater focus at Arab universities on TV studies when compared to foreign universities.
In another study entitled “The Development of Communicative Habits in the Light of Modern Technology”, the researcher argued that technology is part of human existence, for scientists have always highlighted human ability to invent with the aim of facilitating and developing life. Thus, humanity has a long history with technology, which has evolved from using horns to transmit sound, into huge media conglomerates which modern societies rely upon. However, there is rising concern today of the future of these institutions, in particular with the advent of new actors on the scene, which are imposing their own conditions and tools, namely major internet and technology companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and others. The study thus seeks to trace the changes that have occurred in the sender’s and receiver’s communicative habits, as caused by the developments in ICT. This changing scene has brought about the emergence of new communication behaviors and a new form of media, such as social media, cooperative journalism, citizen journalist and new media. The smart phone which is hooked up to the internet dominates the scene, and has become a comprehensive media tool, opening up the horizons for more and more general users who can contribute to media coverage. The question, thus, arises, who is a journalist today, and at the same time forcing professional journalists to adopt new trends of communication and new working methods. This is known as mobile journalism, or MoJo for short, and is mainly based upon the production of videos.
Future research projects that are subsumed under this subtheme may deal with the following topics:
Communication technology and new media.
Interdisciplinary studies on the sociology of mass communication and the psychology of mass communication.