American and Egyptian media coverage of the Camp David Peace Accords
This thesis is concerned with the way multi-national issues are dealt with by media. I illustrate this by the example of the media treatment of Mideast relations, concentrating on three newspapers: The Washington Post and The New York Times from the US, and Al Ahram from Egypt. The events central to the study lay within the Camp David Period of September 1977 to March 1979, with the signing of the Camp David Accords in September, 1978, and the Treaty in March, 1979 ("Camp David"). Because of the media coverage this is an ideal series of events to study methods of filtering information within newspapers. Since Camp David created as much interest in the Mideast as in the West, a comparison of different reports is fruitful. Within Chapter 5I utilise a content analytical method to discover what biases may have been present in the reporting of Camp David, widening this to deal with issues of journalism and the North/ South divide, and show that media is less an investigative tool and more an anchor for established views. A tentative conclusion is an identification of the lack of what are considered journalists' most valued qualities: objectivity and professionalism. I identify a misunderstanding in the lay-person's view of the media profession: as The Washington Post and The New York Times show, although articles may have attempted a balanced format, these media may not have been investigative internationally (though they were domestically). We have to be wary when extrapolating from only three newspapers to the wider world (though I studied other newspapers and media) but since these titles were chosen for their standing and influence, some wider conclusions may be drawn. The thesis indicates no single viewpoint of developed media; no "conspiracy" somehow politically to defraud or act directly for domestic interests. I seek a perspective on developed media in a simultaneous analysis of the Egyptian media and its milieu. What I contend is of interest is that forces acted on Al Ahram, The Washington Post and The New York Times which, though different in kind, were more similar in effect than heretofore argued. Western journalism I assess as operating within a narrower set of models than is frequently believed.