British television coverage of the global South : case studies in content and audience reception
The starting point of this thesis is that British television coverage of the developing world is increasingly limited, both in terms of quantity and the lack of background information. There tends to be very little coverage of developing countries, and what there is doesn't explain them very well. This thesis aims to use this starting point as a basis for exploring ways in which television coverage might be improved in order to develop public knowledge and enable audiences to place issues affecting developing countries in a wider context of globalisation. Television is the focus of this research because it remains the key source of news information in Britain. A key aim is to assess how far the neo-liberal ideology that supports globalisation is replicated in television reporting of the South. The other side of this assessment is the availability of alternative views and explanations. The analysis will examine these questions empirically. The empirical work undertaken for this research involved a detailed examination of television coverage of the global South, and of audience responses to it. One of the aims here is to identify the contextual information that helps make sense of such world affairs. To do this, the thesis is divided into three parts. Part One will discuss the context of capitalist globalisation, including economic, political and cultural aspects. The second part of this thesis examines how television covers the majority world and how it explains events and their relation to globalisation. Part Three consists of the audience reception component of this research.