Media Coverage of the 2009 Afghan Presidential Election

Media Coverage of the 2009 Afghan Presidential Election

Christopher Strelluf (Northwest Missouri State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0081-0.ch008
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This chapter examines news stories about Afghanistan's 2009 presidential election from six Afghan news sources. It characterizes the overall topic selections of Afghan news sources, their election-focused topics, and some of the ways that election stories are framed for readers. It finds that, despite tremendous obstacles that journalists faced in Afghanistan, the news sources leveled a range of critiques against incumbent president Hamid Karzai, the Afghan government, and foreign governments. In particular, accusations of corruption were a prominent and unifying theme. At the same time, foreign news sources and stories focusing on foreign interests were heavily represented in Afghan news sources, leaving doubt as to how much the perspectives and experiences of Afghans were represented in media.
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This chapter draws on two critical approaches that are informed by linguistics: Herman and Chomsky’s (1988\2002) Propaganda Model and Fairclough’s (1989\2001) critical language study (CLS). Both approaches identify and challenge ways that governments and other powerful elites maintain their dominance through the presentation of news.

The Propaganda Model and CLS might be thought of as ideological commitments rather than methodologies. Practitioners draw broadly on knowledge of linguistic structure to advance an intentionally critical and liberatory agenda. In that spirit, this chapter will be guided by the liberatory goals of Propaganda Model and CLS critically, and will draw on several linguistic approaches analytically.

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