Teodora - Crisia Miroiu


Media and International Conflicts: Official Sources and Consent Formation.



My project, “Media and International Conflicts”, focuses on media portrayals of international conflicts and crisis. Such a topic has a great significance as media is the primary and, frequently, public’s only source of information regarding international conflicts.
There are several aspects concerning the way that media covers and represents international conflicts and crisis that need to be analyzed, as the role of media in international conflicts and the purpose and responsibilities of journalists. Professionalism, objectivity and credibility of journalists are essential, as the communicative power media owns can inflame conflicts by circulating negative messages or can support reconciliation by emphasizing positive aspects. While most media consumers take objectivity for granted, objective reporting has not been the historical norm, the concept of objectivity itself being often the focus of debate between numerous journalism professionals and academics. Therefore, I intend to investigate how different-sides coverage respects objectivity as a norm, what are the factors that affect the objectivity of conflict reporting and what are actually its consequences, or, in other words, to which extent media’s representations of the nature of different conflicts and crises, of violent events and protagonists is a selective and partial one. The process of deeming an event newsworthy and the factors that are influencing it will occupy, too, an important as well as the “manipulation” of news coverage during conflicts, and the influence exercised by various institutions and political actors, or even international news outlets, as they are owned by an increasingly concentrated group of corporations with various interests. My research highlights, also, the stress that media puts on reporting casualties, presenting violent scenes and victims, and the smaller concern for offering an adequate political analysis of the conflict, along the little attention paid to peaceful options such as negotiation and other cooperative problem-solving techniques.

Such aspects will be investigated by analyzing and examining various cases of intensely violent international conflicts such as the Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War, the 2008 Georgia-Russia War and others.