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Title: Media coverage of foreign policy events and political conflict : a longitudinal analysis of press-parliament relationship in the framework of Greek-Turkish relations of the period 1996-1999
Author: Kostarella, Ioanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 6691
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis addresses the question; do media set the agenda in the foreign policy domain? Previous work in this area has focused on American decision making in crisis situations. This thesis uses Greek-Turkish relations as a case study and traces the interaction over time. Within this framework, politicians and media are considered to be the two strongest links of the foreign policy making chain. Politicians on the one hand have the political power, while media on the other have the power to transmit their version of reality. In this process neither the political personnel, nor the journalists or the media organizations are alone. This research investigates the impact of three sets of elements organizational, political and national on media-politician interaction. The study starts by identifying the core elements for each of the three sets and puts them into the context of foreign policy: press-party parallelism, elite consensus and national interest are the intervening variables, while policy preferences and images of the "other" are the dependent variables. The comparison of the parliamentary and the press agenda across a 4-year time period reveals that at distinct points of time each of the intervening variables leads to variations in the news text. Both the agendas are assessed through content analysis, while a longitudinal perspective is adopted in order to see who sets the content of the discussion and who follows. The analysis reveals that the seeds for a change of policy positions is first monitored in the parliamentary agenda and then in the newspapers. However, newspapers are adopting harder positions compared to the political discourse, which is by nature more restrained. That is, also, evident in the way media construct the image of the "other", without hesitating though to abandon hard-line positions for a public expression of sympathy, when events call for it. This research also verifies that political engagements are subordinate to national cause in times of crisis, while media partisanship does not seem to be that obvious in the coverage of foreign policy issues.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available