Was Sky News softer on Qatari affairs due to Qatar Airways’ sponsorship of Sky weather reports? An empirical analysis

Tal Samuel-Azran, Inbal Assaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the ability of national companies to sponsor global media content in order to advance the sponsoring countries’ narratives. Specifically, the analysis examines Sky News’ coverage of Qatar, which has sponsored Sky News’ weather reports for more than a decade via its national airline Qatar Airways. The article examines how Sky News presented allegations that Qatar sponsors terror organizations, as well as allegations that Qatar bribed the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to win the 2022 World Cup bid. To put the analysis in perspective, the study compares Sky News’ coverage of Qatari affairs with that of CNN International and Independent Television (ITV). The analysis revealed that Sky News covered Qatari affairs at large in the most positive tone of all three networks examined and its specific coverage of Qatari terror-related affairs was also significantly more positive than the other networks’. Sky News’ output advanced Qatar’s desired image as an intermediary force in the Middle East much more than the other stations’. In contrast, Sky News was more critical than the other stations toward Qatar regarding the FIFA bribery allegations. The study offers a unique perspective regarding the potency and boundaries of commercial sponsorship of content on global media to advance the sponsoring country’s image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-223
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Al Jazeera
  • CNN
  • Qatar
  • Qatar Airways
  • Sky News

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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