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Global News

Reporting Conflicts and Cosmopolitanism


Alexa Robertson

Global News explores how media representation is conceived and enacted in a world of diversity and transborder flows. Among the ‘new media’ crowding the global mediascape are influential television outlets that promise viewers alternative vantage points to those of established Western broadcasters. The different worlds depicted by Al Jazeera English and Russia Today are compared with those of CNN International and BBC World. At a time when media organizations are slashing their budgets for international reporting, these channels represent a spectrum of financing solutions and relations to political power, being variously privately-, publicly-, or state-owned, backed by corporations, democratic states, authoritarian regimes, and ruling dynasties. Despite their differences, however, they have much in common. Their journalists espouse the universal values of professionalism and objectivity and speak to their global audiences in English. This book explores the different theoretical worlds of global media studies, takes a rare look at content, has a comparative perspective, and moves beyond the conflict frame that has dominated much of the literature in the field.


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Tables and figures vii Acknowledgements xi Abbreviations xiii Series Editor’s Preface xv Chapter 1. The Global Village and the Ivory Tower 1 The context of inquiry 4 Entering the global newsroom 8 On television 11 Coming up next 12 Chapter 2. Colliding Worlds 17 Critical theoretical perspectives 18 ‘Big business equals bad journalism as corporations control info flow’ 21 Contra-flows and counter-hegemonic media 22 The story of Russia Today 26 The story of Al Jazeera English 28 Worlds apart? 32 vi global news: reporting conflicts and cosmopolitanism Chapter 3. A World in Crisis: Atlas Reports 37 Global crises in global news headlines 38 Reporting the Arab uprisings 45 CNNI and the Arab uprisings 46 BBC World and the Arab uprisings 49 RT and the Arab uprisings 50 AJE and the Arab uprisings 50 Bearing witness 52 To wrap up 57 Chapter 4. Brave New World 61 The problem of representation 64 Space, place and news maps 66 The space of Europe 69 The space of Europe in BBCW 72 The space of Europe in AJE 73 The space of Europe in RT 74 Just stories 76 Wasted lives 76 The course of rehabilitation 78 Rodeo rehab 79 Cosmopolitan geographies 80 Chapter 5. Another World: Europe as Other 85 Seeing Europe through other eyes (orientation) 90 It was a lot of fun but very strange (discussion/ evaluation/resolution) 104 Europe is progress, Africa is respect (coda) 106 Chapter 6. A World of Difference 109 To sum up, here is the main news...

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