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Al Jazeera: Non-Violence and Peace Journalism

  • Hala Asmina GutaEmail author
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Part of the Contemporary Gulf Studies book series (CGS)

Abstract

Since its establishment in 1996, Al Jazeera has branded itself as an alternative source of news in a world dominated until then by Western media. Al Jazeera’s role as an alternative voice has been particularly highlighted after September 11, 2001, and the US invasion of Afghanistan, and again during the Iraq War. The Al Jazeera network once more captured international attention during its continuous coverage of the Arab Spring in 2011. Between being the first news network to air Osama Bin Laden’s statements in 2001 and its non-stop coverage of the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera has covered multiple violent conflicts around the world. Building the conceptual framework of Peace Journalism by Johan Galtung, this chapter interrogates Al Jazeera’s coverage of violence and violent conflicts. Using framing analysis, the chapter examines Al Jazeera English coverage of 2017 battle of Raqqa. To understand the organizational and ethical decision-making process that takes place at Al Jazeera network, document analysis and in-depth interviews were utilized. Analysis revealed that in its hard news bulletins Al Jazeera English coverage is characterized by a focus on direct violence with less attention paid to issues of structural and cultural violence. However, in framing issues of conflict, Al Jazeera adopted a humanitarian frame and focused on the high human cost associated with conflict. The framing process was a conscious and deliberate ethical choice based on a moral position to side with the vulnerable and the oppressed.

Keywords

Al Jazeera English Peace Journalism Battle of Raqqa Framing Conflict Humanitarian frame 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Qatar UniversityDohaQatar

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