Media, Communication and Political Engagement: The Role of Transnational Satellite TV News Media in Shaping the Domestic Politics of Ongoing Conflicts - The Case of Palestine
Date: 28 October 2019
University of Exeter
Doctor of Philosophy in Middle East Politics
ABSTRACT This thesis emphasizes the central role that satellite television plays in covering Middle East ongoing conflicts, as an area that has become characterized with organized chaos, multiple centers of instability and increasingly complex conflicts. Employing a case study method, the thesis provides insight into how pan-Arab ...
ABSTRACT This thesis emphasizes the central role that satellite television plays in covering Middle East ongoing conflicts, as an area that has become characterized with organized chaos, multiple centers of instability and increasingly complex conflicts. Employing a case study method, the thesis provides insight into how pan-Arab Regional Satellite Television (henceforth RSTV) has played a role in shaping Palestinian domestic politics during the recent internal conflict. The thesis explores the nature of this involvement by analyzing primary data obtained through interviewing a pertinent group of prominent informants to investigate how they view RSTV news coverage. The primary focus of analysis in the study is the interplay between regional and Palestinian politics evident in RSTV journalism, relating to the conflict. ‘Mediatization’ is a principal theory addressing the interrelationship between media, politics and society and considers how news media can influence political processes. Thus, mediatization informs the conceptual/theoretical framework adopted in the study to guide its analysis. Theoretical framework examined four major models contributing to the study of mediatized conflicts, resulting in a customized methodological approach, which fitted the contextual complexities and limitations of the case study and facilitated data collection and analysis. The tailored approach is based on the ‘value-versus-need’ interplay that governs the interrelations between news agencies and politicians. Accordingly, these concepts also reflect the research questions and guided the data collection to demonstrate the significant connections between RSTV news coverage and political reality. Additional focus was on the framing of news, which media researchers consider as inputs of news media production and influence on ongoing conflicts. The thesis establishes the fact that pan-Arab STV journalism was intervening in the conflict and did not always mirror reality. It also highlights in a systematic way how political reality in the ‘media world’ differs from that in the ‘real world’. Moreover, the thesis highlights, with supporting evidence, how finance can be influential in generating instrumental satellite TV journalism, and emphasizes the power of political and ideological influences on pan-Arab STV news media.
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