Amílcar Antonio Barreto
Denis Jospeh Sullivan, Amaney A. Jamal (1970-)
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Arts and Sciences. Department of Political Science
political science, Middle Eastern studies, identity, media, war of hearts and minds
International relations, Diplomacy, Mass media and public opinion, Al Jazeera (Television network), Alhurra (Television network)
International Relations | Political Science
This dissertation is a comparative critical discourse analysis of the coverage of specific international events in the American al-Hurra and the Qatari al-Jazeera news channels. It studies how regional satellite media challenge the way in which US public diplomacy is conducted in the Arab world. It examines the factors that contribute to the success or failure of the public diplomacy of the media, and argues that identity presentation of the self vs. the presentation by/of other plays the major role in determining performance. It also discusses how the communication revolution has shifted the paradigm of diplomacy by emphasizing the role of public diplomacy, at the same time complicating the environment within which public diplomacy is conducted. This study demonstrates that al-Hurra news channel communicates values that primarily serve American policies and strategies in the Middle East. By adopting a clearly futuristic approach, it tends to marginalize the role of religion as well as the region's history. It is more inclined to reflect liberal voices in the Arab world as well as Israeli views of the events in the Middle East. In contrast, al-Jazeera is evidently more open to various persuasions and orientations in the Arab world, even if it seeks to promote the idea of Arabness with its constituent elements of identity such as history, language and religion. Given that al-Jazeera is obviously faring better than al-Hurra, the level of success of both news channels is accounted for on the basis of three factors: context, conception and content. For a message of public diplomacy to find its way to its audience, it needs a proper understanding of the context in which such messages are disseminated. A sound conception of the goals and roles of public diplomacy efforts that emanates from a proper understanding of the context must follow. Finally, the more consistent media messages are with the basic beliefs and values of the target audience, the better chance they have to be accepted by those audiences. Thus, it could be argued that while al-Jazeera represents contextual objectivity, al-Hurra exemplifies the `existential crisis.' By all accounts, the careers of al-Hurra and al-Jazeera demonstrate how regional media challenge the hegemonic discourse of soft power and produce their own hegemonic discourse.
Marwa Abdel Samei
Samei, Marwa Abdel, "Public diplomacy in the age of regional media: winning the war of hearts and minds in the iddle east Al-Jazeera and al-Hurra" (2010). Political Science Dissertations. Paper 5. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000281
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