Al-Jazeera English and Global News Networks: Clash of Civilizations or Cross-Cultural Dialogue?
Posted: 20 Jan 2020
Date Written: March 25, 2012
This article examines the role of the global news media in either furthering the balkanization of the global news environment or moving towards a globally connected and engaged aggregation of publics. Drawing on the results of a six-country study of media viewing habits, cultural, political and cognitive dispositions of viewers of Al-Jazeera English in comparison to viewers of CNN International and BBC World, the authors outline two findings: (1) viewers worldwide turn to particular broadcasters to affirm rather than inform their opinions, meaning the global news media are likely to reinforce existing attitudes and stereotypes of cultural ‘others’; and (2) the longer viewers have been watching Al-Jazeera English, the less dogmatic they are in their thinking and thus more open to considering alternative and clashing opinions. The authors conclude by arguing that, when media jettison the principles embodied in ‘war journalism’, broadcasters can indeed have a latent yet substantial impact on fostering cross-cultural understanding and reconciliation.
Keywords: Al Jazeera English, Clash of Civilizations, dogmatism, global public sphere, media system dependency, war journalism
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