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Politicising Arab image in American elite press in light of the Intifada and the Gulf War : a retreat to zero degree or an investment of change?

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posted on 15.12.2014, 10:40 by Khaled. Alruwaitea
The study focuses on the Arab image in segments of the American elite press during the Gulf war. It content analysed three elite newspapers - the New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WP) and Los Angeles Times (LAT). The analysis covers the period from January 16, 1991 when the war erupted, to February 28, 1991, when a cease-fire was declared.;The Gulf war could have represented a decisive moment of a possible variation in the American interaction with the Arabs. The study, however, reveals that neither the American government nor the Press exploited the change in the positionality of the Arabs to particularise the generalised image of the Arabs and to initiate a new way of perceiving them. Another case study (Intifada) has been incorporated to establish a point of comparison.;The Gulf war has been analysed in the context of State-Media relationships. The study emphasises the dynamic and mobile nature of media-government relationships. Multi-perspectives have been utilised to capture the mode structuring the variation of interaction between the state's foreign policy and the press support. These perspectives are: crisis, 'our' war, 'their' war, civil society, global civil society, values, cultural archive and self/other.;The intersection of foreign coverage with crisis, 'our' war, national civil society, values, cultural archive and self/others, fosters a fusion with the state and nourishes monologic relations with the postulated foreign other, the Arabs (Gulf war). The intersection of foreign coverage with 'crisis', 'their' war, values and global civil society, however, weakens the fusion between media and the state and fosters a dialogic relationship with the perceived foreign other (Intifada). In brief, the fusion between media and government and consequently the reproducibility of enclosure toward the projected foreign other is context dependent. It depends on local analysis or the intersected lines in one point of time.


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Mass media

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University of Leicester

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