Re-imagining the Empire : Portuguese media and politics and the coverage of East Timor
This thesis explores the impact of political discourses on the construction of the issue-culture of East Timor in Portugal, and analyses media representations of East Timor from 1975 up to 1999. The research looks specifically at the discourses and strategies of the state and those groups who challenged establishment views of the issue, namely NGOs campaigning for the territory and the Timorese resistance. On the basis of material gathered through media stories, political documents and interviews, the research argues that media coverage was driven by the political framing of East Timor; that challenge groups were more successful in defining the terms of coverage when they sought resonance with larger cultural themes; and that changing media practices impacted dramatically on the news narrative. It concludes that East Timor was legitimised once it was transformed into a domestic issue, and articulated with ideological versions of identity and history reminiscent of the Portuguese Empire.