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Title: Foreign conflict reporting post-9/11 and post-Cold War : a comparative analysis of European television news coverage of the Middle East conflict
Author: Heywood, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 3433
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis explores the state of European foreign conflict reporting by public sector broadcasters, post-Cold War and post-9/11. It provides a comparative analysis of the news values of three television news providers from three differing public systems: BBC’s News at 10, representing a British public service broadcaster, nominally independent of government control; Russia’s Vremya on Channel 1, a state-aligned broadcaster used, to a large extent, as a mouthpiece for the government; and France 2’s 20 Heures, a public service broadcaster, from a media system with a long history of state intervention. By investigating their reports, the study identifies and analyses the differing roles of public and state-aligned broadcasters. It examines the priority they place on certain values leading to particular aspects of a news story becoming news in one part of the world but not in others. The case study under investigation is a two-year period (2006-2008) from the ongoing Middle East conflict which both pre-dates the change in East-West relations and the events of 9/11 and provides a meeting point of many of the geo-political and post-imperial global struggles facing the three selected news reporting countries. The analytical chapters examine a peace conference, Israeli-Palestinian fighting and intra-Palestinian fighting, which reflect discrete aspects of this conflict and enable the broadcasters’ overarching and specific narratives to be considered. The thesis uses these events to assess relations between state and broadcaster and the attendant associations with the war on terror which emerge in the foreign conflict coverage. It investigates possible imbalances in the reports to the detriment of one of the warring parties and contributes to understanding how the broadcasters perceive their own and other countries. The study examines the broadcasters’ news values and agenda-setting techniques. By focusing on these two areas, which influence the shaping, length and positioning of broadcasts, news reports are analysed both quantitatively (e.g. running order, airtime, number of items per programme and subject matter) and qualitatively (e.g. the portrayal of news values and agenda-setting attributes displayed). The overarching argument illustrates that the hierarchy in news values is never arbitrary but can be explained, in part, by the structure of the broadcasters and by events occurring within, or associated with, the reporting country. As a result, the thesis investigations help identify nationally differentiated perceptions of conflict throughout the world and, in a broader context, contribute to studies in the areas of media, foreign conflict and Middle East conflict reporting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: News values ; Foreign conflict ; Russian media ; French media ; UK media