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British media coverage of the Kosovo conflict

By Marc Lynton Latham


New Labour presented Nato's Kosovo campaign in 1999 as Britain's first war fought for purely humanitarian reasons, and this framing of the Nato campaign seemed to become the dominant image of the conflict in the British media. This study uses a framing conceptual framework to analyse the British media's coverage of the Kosovo Conflict, and tries to identify hegemonic influences on that media coverage; the\ud analysis therefore works on a cultural and political level. The study uses framing as it has been used in previous social-political studies, as a tool for analysing whether\ud Nato's framing of their campaign dominated the media discourse, in line with the hegemonic model. The objectives of the study are to analyse whether the media were sufficiently independent from the Nato perspective to provide the public with a balanced and informed view of Nato's Kosovo campaign; whether the humanitarian aspect of the Nato campaign brought a change in the traditional reporting of Britain at war in the UK media; whether the reorganisation of the Nato media operation brought an improved coverage for Nato in the second half of their campaign, and whether a newspaper being editorially anti-war affected the rest of its content to any noticeable\ud degree. A triangulation of qualitative and quantitative research methods has led to the conclusion that the British media over-relied on Nato sources, and usually reported\ud from a Nato perspective, in line with the hegemonic model, but provided a certain level of plurality in their opinions, and reporting of events, with Nato collateral\ud damage receiving an especially prominent coverage. These findings seem to be in line with most recent research on the US and UK media when their nation is at war, although conclusions made by researchers with different expectations and interpretations, using different samples and methodologies, often lead to contrasting opinions on the performance of the media

Publisher: School of Media and Communication (Leeds)
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:

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