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Title: Victims or hysterics? : armed rebels, or violent extremists? : translation and the different narratives of the Syrian uprising
Author: Alkrood, Manal
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 9419
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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The study proceeds from the observation that the coverage of the Syrian uprising, which has entered its eighth year, has fluctuated greatly, not only within the different news media, but, even within the same news medium. The research questions of different narratives of the Syrian uprising are related to the changing circumstances of the uprising or with the news media agenda. Also, since translation plays a pivotal role in covering conflict, a specific focus was placed on the study of the role of translation in either creating a more realistic outlook to the conflict or as another tool for supporting news media agendas. Since most news media claim objectivity, they would normally present a variety of perspectives. Thus, this research aims at finding the hidden messages within news media texts from the BBC and Al Jazeera English websites stretched over a long period of time from March 2011 until June 2012 covering a variety of topics. The most significant of these were the news media's initial reaction to the uprising and violence brought upon the Syrians and the formation of armed rebellion. Findings of the research indicate that, in the initial stage of the revolution, both the BBC and Al Jazeera blamed the regime for the violence although the BBC still placed hope on the reforms of the regime, and was, on occasions, understanding of an Islamic threat often declared by the regime. When some protesters carried arms, differences grew between the two news media. The BBC eyed the armed rebels suspiciously and saw the Islamic extremism threat looming behind their words and actions, while Aljazeera was more understanding of the severity of the situation that propelled some protesters into choosing armed rebellion. Also, while the BBC focused on the Sunni military resistance and ignored any role for the Alawites in the uprising, this focus on the narrative regarding only the regime, and the opposition fighting it. While ignoring an important faction in the conflict served, on the one hand, to present the Alawites as victims who had no say in the matter and helped to demonise the armed resistance as a threat towards minorities, Aljazeera, on the other hand, sought to reach out to both Alawites in the opposition, and those who supported the regime, creating a fuller picture of the events and actors involved. These differences were, indeed, also reflected in the translations. Although both news media seemed affected by their ideologies, comparing the fabula and the story, the real events taking place and the stories that were circulated showed that Al Jazeera was more objective than the BBC. Not only did it not rely on presumptions, but it spoke to, and most importantly for this research, translated for, more parties in the conflict. The contribution of this research lies in the creation of a new analysis model combining both theories of narrative and critical discourse analysis enabling researchers to assess the difference between fiction and reality in news stories and to trace ideology in news coverage as well as studying the role of translations within these texts.
Supervisor: Lahlali, Mustapha Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available