Misleading Media Portrayals in a Globalized World: Justification of State Control Through an Orientalist Lens

Misleading Media Portrayals in a Globalized World: Justification of State Control Through an Orientalist Lens

Tymoteusz Chajdas (University of California – Santa Barbara, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8535-0.ch004

Abstract

This chapter discusses the phenomenon of media power and dissemination of misleading and spurious representations. The author argues that global mass media can increasingly be seen as devices of control. This is inferred from a frequent use of Orientalist discourses when portraying the Middle East, which bestows the media messages with hidden power structures. These messages, along with the emergence of social media and a high saturation of visual media, contribute to strengthening of media power. This enables the state to justify its control and political actions. By drawing on Orientalism and by exploring media portrayals of the Middle East, this chapter suggests that misrepresentations produced by the media should be seen as a violent rhetoric which aims at acting to discipline Middle Eastern bodies and trapping them in a cycle of alienation. The analysis discusses media coverage of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq, and 9/11. The author suggests that through the practice of alienating subjects from society, mass media create an opportunity for them to turn to extremes.
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Historicizing Media Power

Throughout much of Western history, the mass media have often been objects of public desire. This has been conditioned by the fact that the vast majority of conversations and literature concerned with media have traditionally equipped them with a particular ideology which supported media’s privileged status in society.

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