In their variety of topics and approaches, the studies collected in this volume testify to the criticality of representing personal, professional and organizational identities through the new media, as their ability to reach a virtually unlimited audience amplifies the potential political, cultural and economic impact of discursive identity constructions. They also confirm that new highly sophisticated media can forge identities well beyond the simply iconic or textual representation, generating deeply interconnected webs of meaning capable of occupying an expanding – and adaptable – discursive space.
MARIA CRISTINA PAGANONI ‘The Opinion and the Counter Opinion’: News Framing and Double Voicing on Al Jazeera English 237
MARIA CRISTINA PAGANONI ‘The Opinion and the Counter Opinion’: News Framing and Double Voicing on Al Jazeera English 1. Background and study design Since its foundation in the tiny Gulf emirate and former British colony of Qatar in 1996, the Arab network Al Jazeera has impressively developed into a global media player, thanks to an involved and often radical style in news reporting which gained popularity during the 2000 Intifada and was later tested in the aftermath of 9/11. Its global reputation was gained with ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ in Afghanistan in October 2001, whose coverage made the network the first non-Western medium in history to control the narrative of a global conflict (Della Ratta 2005: 133-135). The peak of its popularity was reached in 2006 with the debut of an international channel in English and bureaus in London, Washington and Kuala Lumpur besides the main company headquarters in Doha. In order to adjust to the new TV channel, the English-language website was also restyled.1 Throughout its relatively short history, the network, whose motto is to provide ‘the opinion and the counter opinion’, has been hailed as an innovative voice among the Arab media and credited with setting new global journalistic standards that rival the flow of information from such Western giants as the BBC and the CNN (Castells 1997/2004). According to a number of media scholars, the ‘Al Jazeera phenomenon’ (Zayani 2005) was propelled to the forefront of the global news scenario by a combination of historical events that are...
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