Domestic policies of nation-states as well as trends in media development have further consolidated the role of mainstream media in shaping social and political processes related to international conflicts. Deregulation of the media landscape in Gulf countries has seen the side-by-side existence of both government and private media. In the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, the mass media are significantly shaping citizens’ perceptions and understanding within Gulf countries. Similarly, the kind of information disseminated by the media on the conflict plays a role in shaping the behavior of social and political structures within nation-states. While the media alone do not determine government policies, they do shape the circumstances in which policy-making takes place. The media plays a substantial role in setting the agenda for national discourse, which guides policymakers in arriving at certain actions or responses. This study explores the characteristics and trends in the coverage of the Russia-Ukraine conflict among Arabic newspapers in the Gulf countries. The intention of this study is to gain insight into factors influencing the war narratives by different national newspapers in the Gulf region, and how these could shape national responses to the conflict. Furthermore, this study identifies different features of war narratives, the inclusions and exclusions of women in framing news about the conflict, and factors that shape such frames.

Author Biography

Muhammed Musa is an Associate Professor of Communication at the Department of Media and Creative Industries, United Arab Emirates University. He has previously taught at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Muhammed has authored dozens of book chapters and journal articles and serves on the editorial boards of scholarly journals. He has supervised and examined several MA and Ph.D. theses. His teaching and research interests are in the political economy of the media, journalism studies, and media and social change in developing societies. Email ID: mu.musa@uaeu.ac.ae

Ahmed S. Mansoori is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Media and Creative Industries at United Arab Emirates University. He earned his Ph.D. in Humanities and Social Sciences with a major in Mass Communication from United Arab Emirates University. His research interests are digital transformation and newsroom convergence, media and social change, journalism, and artificial intelligence. Professionally, he served over 16 years as a reporter, copy-editor, and head for local and international sections at Al-Ittihad newspaper in the UAE. He is the 2007 winner of the Arab Press Award and the 2014 Taryam Omran Press Award. Email ID: a.mansoori@uaeu.ac.ae