Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communications Media

First Advisor

Mark J. Piwinsky, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jay Start, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Zachary Stiegler, Ph.D.


This study was influenced by the researcher's personal interest in the topic as well as a pilot study he conducted; it produced results that inspired him to do further research. The Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission assisted in distributing the Qualtrics survey through their Facebook page and Twitter account. Thus, the researcher utilized a non-probability convenience and volunteer sample of 789 Saudi Arabian students studying in the United States. This study was guided by the Uses and Gratification Theory to examine the use of smartphones as a news resource and the potential gratifications students experienced with this type of use. The findings showed reliance upon using smartphones for accessing news with several experienced gratifications. An emergent habit of checking news frequently among respondents was revealed by the data analysis. Additionally, the findings indicated that respondents have feelings of being overwhelmed by the large amount of news as well as feeling isolated without their smartphones. The findings point to a noticeable amount of sharing news via social networking sites while using smartphones. Overall, an argument of a cultural impact of using smartphones exists, contrary to respondents' perceptions.