Empirical support for the Al-Jazeera Effect notion: Al-Jazeera's Twitter following

Tal Samuel-Azran, Ilan Manor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Globalization scholars argue that the launch of Al-Jazeera has promoted a fairer horizontal news flow as a non-Western perspective entered the global public sphere leading to the Al-Jazeera Effect. In contrast, other scholars argue that Al-Jazeera outlets face biases and boycotts due to their Qatari origin, thus casting a shadow over the Al Jazeera Effect argument. This study employs an innovative approach to contribute to this debate by examining Al-Jazeera English (AJE) and AJ + 's Twitter following amongst four epistemic communities: ambassadors, foreign ministries, UN missions and journalists. The analysis found that AJE was consistently amongst the top five most followed new channels on Twitter, obtaining greater popularity than major Western news outlets such as Fox News and Sky News. This lends a unique empirical support for the Al-Jazeera Effect hypothesis. AJ + was found to be less popular, possibly due to its distinct nature as an online news platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-411
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • Al-Jazeera
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Qatar
  • ambassadors
  • cultural imperialism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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