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Media - government interactions and foreign policy : a rational choice approach to the media's impact on political decision-making and the paradigm of the Greek - Turkish conflict

By Maria Touri

Abstract

The thesis provides a systematic understanding of the media-government relationship in the conduct of foreign policy and a rigorous approach of the media's role and impact on\ud decision - making processes. It particularly covers a deficiency in the existing literature, with regard to the media's potential to Influence decision outcomes and cause policy changes. The thesis is a theory-based investigation while a case study is employed for illustration purposes.\ud \ud The thesis approaches the media within the context of an interaction with the government that reflects a complex interconnection of the media and politicians' decisions and is here explored with the employment of rational choice and game theory. The thesis develops a game - theoretic model, which identifies the media as a purposeful actor rather than a mere instrument in the hands of politicians; and provides a rigorous interpretation of the media - government relationship as one between two profit\ud - maximising actors. It examines the payoffs and costs entailed in their decisions within this interaction, and concentrates on the potential influence that media decisions have on the government's payoffs.\ud \ud In this model, the media influence is conceptuallsed as an outcome of their ability to frame information according to their self-interests, which are tied to their organisational\ud structure and lead to the production of audience - driven news stories. With the introduction of framing theory the thesis demonstrates the power inherent in the media's\ud content to affect the recipient's perception of a given situation; and with the aid of prospect theory, it incorporates media frames into the decision-making process and exhibits their potential implications on perceptions of the risk entailed in political decision - making. The model develops a strategic cause - effect relationship between media frames and governmental decisions that is applied to and tested through the press coverage of two Greek - Turkish territorial crises. The investigation of the two events within the game - theoretic framework draws upon the media's power to create conditions of domestic/national cost for the government that can trigger apparently\ud irrational and risky decisions. The findings suggest a strategic media impact on decision making processes and highlight the media's role as an actor plausible to affect decision outcomes and cause policy changes independent of the policy at hand

Publisher: School of Media and Communication (Leeds)
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:742

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