The construction of news texts on 'peace' : an analysis of Sunday Times' coverage of the Peace Summits in the Democratic Republic of Congo (August 1998 - January 2001)

Moiloa, Makhotso Mamasole Ruth (2003) The construction of news texts on 'peace' : an analysis of Sunday Times' coverage of the Peace Summits in the Democratic Republic of Congo (August 1998 - January 2001). Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

This study examines the construction of news texts on peace and the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Sunday Times articles dating from August 1998 to January 2001. Peace is an ideological frame that is applied to a complex process that Muller (2000) argues involves and employs a variety of dynamics: diplomacy, economics, force/military intervention and propaganda. As a consequence, different interest groups and nations define peace in different ways. But whatever the definition, the common objective is to restore normalcy via a ceasefire. Peace as a phenomenon has been heightened and sustained by repetitive media attention, thus effectively separating it from international politics (i.e. colonialism of the mind, economy and land), and firmly locating it as a matter of not just public concern, but of international public concern. Using the cultural studies approach to a study of media texts provides a rich foundation for this study. Textual analysis of the articles explores themes and participation and places emphasis on the display of patterns of belief and value that are encoded in the language. What results is a sustained examination of media texts within their socio-cultural and historical context. This study s findings challenge the claim that the media report peace objectively and on its own terms. In particular, the study denies that the Sunday Times objectively, fairly and truthfully reported the experience and process in the DRC between August 1998 and January 2001. Instead it finds that the newspaper constructed a particular understanding of peace, peace talks and the peace process, characterised by repetition, ritualisation and personalisation. Furthermore, this study proposes - and echoes the call for - an alternative news reporting model that will enhance audiences understandings of conflict and its resolution, thereby enhancing the quality of their life.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sunday Times, South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Journalism, Mass media
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Journalism and Media Studies
ID Code:2392
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:25 Jan 2012 06:50
Last Modified:25 Jan 2012 06:50
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