Date of Award

Summer 8-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Fei Xue

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Christopher Campbell

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. David R. Davies

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Lindsey Maxwell

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

Dr. Jae-Hwa Shin

Committee Member 5 School



The Saudi Vision aimed to move the Kingdom to a new level in many aspects. Women's rights and entertainment expansion are two important components of Saudi Vision. Therefore, this dissertation aimed to look for similarities and differences between the newspaper and public agendas on Twitter regarding these issues in light of agenda-setting theory. The theory was utilized to make the comparison in terms of the main topics discussed and how both parties discussed them.

The study followed the qualitative content analysis method. Two hundred tweets were analyzed for both the Saudi newspapers and the public for each issue. The time frame for selecting tweets was 2016 to 2020.

The theory was not supported to a large extent because many differences were found between newspapers and the public; few similarities were found. Regarding women's rights, the study found that newspapers and the public discussed some similar topics, i.e., jobs and work and social affairs, but with different aspects. The newspaper's coverage varied between neutral and praising coverage, while the public’s tweets varied between praising the government, providing many suggestions, or criticizing some of the issues. In terms of entertainment, there was a disparity between the public and newspapers regarding the topics discussed. While the public gave much attention to entertainment and Islam, the newspapers did not prioritize this topic, focusing instead on concerts. The entertainment coverage by newspapers and the public was similar to that of women’s rights coverage. The newspapers devoted their spaces to delivering the information neutrally, while the public showed different attitudes toward the Vision.

The result implies that Saudi newspapers should benefit from social media's interactive features to realize the public agenda and focus on them in a way that serves the Vision. Also, the study highlights some aspects that must change for society to be a real partner in executing the Vision, like accepting different ideas that oppose rooted beliefs. For the theoretical framework, the study adds significance to the theory in which it paves the road for studies that use the theory in contexts other than political issues or determining public agenda through Twitter.

Available for download on Thursday, December 31, 2026