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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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Chapter 5. Another World: Europe as Other


· 5 · another world Europe as Other ‘If Europe is an imagined community at all, it is never better imagined than from the outside’.53 Caquard (2011) explored counter-narratives of place-making by focussing on the words that subjugated people used in response to dominant Western ide- ologies. This chapter examines an instance of such counter-narratives, and looks into a third space—a liminal, marginal space—of the sort that has con- cerned scholars working in the post-colonial tradition. Its founding father, Edward Said, wrote that Europe had constructed an image of its South, over the centuries, that was more about Europe itself than the culture it exoticised Said (1978/2003). His notion of ‘strategic location‘ describes the position of an author in a text in relation to the material about the stranger being de- picted, and ordered. Everyone who writes about the Orient must locate himself vis-à-vis the Orient; translated into his text, this location includes the kind of narrative voice he adopts, the type of structure he builds, the kinds of images, themes, motifs that circulate in his text—all of which add up to deliberate ways of addressing the reader… (Said 1978/2003: 20). 86 global news: reporting conflicts and cosmopolitanism Chapter 4 contained an illustration of the literal reversing of flows—from Germany to Turkey and from Portugal to Angola. This chapter considers the possibility of a reversed Orientalism, if ‘the Orient’ is taken in a broad sense to signify part of the world once under colonial dominion and treated...

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