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DOHA: More than a third of Qatari men surveyed about media usage habits said they relied on their ‘majlis’ (the outer portion of a traditional Qatari home where guests, including relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours are entertained) to get day-to-day information and news.
A vast majority of Qatari women (who have no access to the ‘majlis’), on the contrary, said they relied on the media, particularly television, to keep abreast with what was going on in the country, region and the rest of the world.
The survey on how people access information, with a sample of 525 people, including Qatari men and women and Arab expatriates, was conducted by the Social Rehabilitation Centre.
Some 62 percent of the Qatari women surveyed said they were dependent on the media to know of daily news and happenings, while 38 percent of Qatari men said they got such information from their ‘majlis’.
Television was the most popular medium for the majority of respondents. Some 48.2 percent said they watched TV, four hours a day on average, to keep themselves abreast with the latest news.
News channels were popular with 20 percent of the respondents, while ‘mixed’ channels were watched by 18.4 percent. In the third spot were religious channels (16.5 percent).
Some 16.2 percent said the Internet was their main source of information, while only 7.5 percent said they read newspapers, and an even smaller percentage (3.2) of the interviewees said they listened to radio.
Local newspapers were read by 55.7 percent of the respondents.
At least 25.4 percent respondents said they used both Arabic and English-language media, while the remaining said they used only Arabic media.
The social media are emerging as important modes of social interaction, with many of those interviewed saying they used the media for chatting with friends and relatives.
A total of 263 Qataris were covered by the survey (132 men and 131 women), while the Arab expatriates covered numbered 262 (126 men and 136 women). The ages of those surveyed varied between 15 years and more than 50 years. The majority of respondents were aged between 20 and 29 years or above 40.
Arab expatriates (65.6 percent of them) were found to rely more on media to access information, while this percentage was just 38 for Qatari men and women respondents.
Barely 2.9 percent of the interviewees said they relied on friends for information.
The Social Rehabilitation Centre said the aim of the survey was to know which was the most popular media in Qatar and how much time people spent learning about news and events.
Most of the respondents were from Doha (62.7 percent) and Al Rayyan (27.6 percent). The surveyors said non-Arabic-speaking expatriates were left out of the sample since they didn’t know Arabic.