Presentation Title

Watchdogs and Underdogs: Media Narratives of the 2017-18 Qatar Diplomatic Crisis

Faculty Mentor

Chris McMillan

Start Date

17-11-2018 1:30 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 1:45 PM

Location

C155

Session

Oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Media representations of international conflicts are instrumental in determining how we imagine, evaluate, and discuss conflicts. The Qatar diplomatic crisis, an ongoing international diplomatic conflict between Qatar and a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of nations, has received extensive global media coverage. This study compares British and Qatari media discourse of this crisis, by examining ten news articles from the BBC and Al Jazeera English (AJE) for bias in language based on the respective national contexts. Evidence of agenda-setting, priming, nationalization of discourse, and public diplomacy was revealed in articles from both outlets. AJE, due to its relative political proximity to the conflict, ascribes the diplomatic crisis much more significance than does the BBC. Both outlets also differ in their evaluations of allegations of terrorist-financing against Qatar and the legitimacy of the blockade. These results indicate that media outlets which claim to be impartial are nonetheless influenced by national contexts when reporting on international conflicts. This study is the first to apply previously-established media effects theories and discourse analysis approaches to media representations of the ongoing Qatar crisis and furthers our understanding of power dynamics in narratives of global conflicts.

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Nov 17th, 1:30 PM Nov 17th, 1:45 PM

Watchdogs and Underdogs: Media Narratives of the 2017-18 Qatar Diplomatic Crisis

C155

Media representations of international conflicts are instrumental in determining how we imagine, evaluate, and discuss conflicts. The Qatar diplomatic crisis, an ongoing international diplomatic conflict between Qatar and a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of nations, has received extensive global media coverage. This study compares British and Qatari media discourse of this crisis, by examining ten news articles from the BBC and Al Jazeera English (AJE) for bias in language based on the respective national contexts. Evidence of agenda-setting, priming, nationalization of discourse, and public diplomacy was revealed in articles from both outlets. AJE, due to its relative political proximity to the conflict, ascribes the diplomatic crisis much more significance than does the BBC. Both outlets also differ in their evaluations of allegations of terrorist-financing against Qatar and the legitimacy of the blockade. These results indicate that media outlets which claim to be impartial are nonetheless influenced by national contexts when reporting on international conflicts. This study is the first to apply previously-established media effects theories and discourse analysis approaches to media representations of the ongoing Qatar crisis and furthers our understanding of power dynamics in narratives of global conflicts.