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The Role of Mass Media in Building Perceptions of EU-GCC Relations and Related Impacts


This paper addresses the way the GCC region is presented in the EU media and vice versa, in a time in which perceptions and misperceptions could influence negatively the consistent flows of international investments that are instrumental to the diversification of the Gulf economies as well as to the ailing of the European ones. The authors compare the most common stereotypes structuring the public discourse with the views of some journalists from Europe and the GCC countries gathered through a small but targeted survey and a subsequent focus group. The findings show a limited degree of familiarity and interaction, but at the same time having a sort of latent interest, especially with regard to politics and economics. They also uncover a different degree of technical skills and underscore a different level of diversification in sources. In the conclusion, the authors develop some policy-oriented recommendations to bridge this communication gap among media members and foster more accurate and comprehensive reporting, oriented at preparing the ground for mutually beneficial interregional cooperation.

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