News Framing of the Arab Spring Conflict from the Lens of Newspaper Editorials
International Journal of English Linguistics; Vol. 10, No. 1; 2020
12 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 3, 2020
News framing of events often restricts us to either ‘oppose’ or ‘favour’ a particular side/party involved in a conflict. This paper examines the print media framing of the Arab Spring in the editorials of The News International (NI) of Pakistan and Arab News (AN) of Saudi Arabia. The coverage sample consists of newspaper editorials published from January 2011 to December 2012 when the uprising received phenomenal attention from the media worldwide. Qualitative content analysis of 48 newspaper editorials (24 NI/24 AN), demonstrates how senior media workers constructed the Arab Spring as an international conflict. Specifically, the lexical choices of editorial writers reveal that mainstream newspapers in both the countries positively framed the pro-Arab Spring protesters (public), who reportedly desired to bring the ‘change’. On the contrary, the media framing of the uprising also reflects that the newspapers negatively framed the anti-Arab Spring authorities (ruling elite), who reportedly resisted the ‘change’. A future research is recommended to investigate readers’ perspectives, as well, on the media portrayals of the Arab Spring or other similar conflicts which can give insights into how language use can impact and is impacted by ideology, cultural nuances and identity of diverse individuals.
Keywords: Arab Spring conflict, lexical choices, news framing, newspaper editorials, protesters and authorities
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