Local Media in Global Conflict: Southeast Asian Newspapers and the Politics of Peace in Israel/Palestine

  • Yakubu Ozohu-Suleiman Department of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
  • Sidin Ahmad Ishak Department of Media Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract

It is often assumed that local media are a potential deescalating tool in global conflict. This study examines how four leading newspapers in Southeast Asia (Star of Malaysia, Philstar of the Philippines, Jakarta Post of Indonesia, and The Nation of Thailand) reported the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the year after the 2009 Gaza War. A census of 536 reports was coded for tones (to detect alignment), frames (to detect characterization of the conflict), and sources (to examine correlation with coverage tones). The results show fragmented alignment of the newspapers with Palestine and Israel. Conflict frames on offensives, fighting, threats, military strategies, demonization, death, and destruction were most prevalent. Coverage tones were significantly correlated with sources, suggesting that the potential of local media to serve as deescalating tools in global conflicts is subject to the varying political contexts in which they operate in relation to specific conflicts.

Author Biographies

Yakubu Ozohu-Suleiman, Department of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
Yakubu Ozohu-Suleiman, former Daily Trust Senior reporter, is a PhD Candidate in the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur and a Lecturer in Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria.
Sidin Ahmad Ishak, Department of Media Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sidin Ahmad Ishak is a Professor of Media Studies in the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Published
2015-05-11
Section
Open Section