Title : The deadliest war in the world – An assessment of the war reporting from the democratic Republic of Congo
Author: Melinda Sutus
University and course: Örebro University, Media- and communication C (international)
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to understand if cultural and geographical proximity affects the way of reporting news and why the war in the Democratic republic of Congo gets so little attention compared to other wars and catastrophes. This will be made by studying the reporting about the war in two newspapers different from one another, one geographically and culturally closed to the war struck area, and one far away.
Previous research: The research used in this study focuses on the third world, foreign coverage and globalisation. Studies made by Johan Galtung and Mari Holmboe Rouge, and Stig-Arne Nohrstedt are used to understand the reporting about Africa.
Further follow Edward S Herman´s and Noam Chomsky´s views about the different types of victims and Jean-Claude Willame´s research about violence in Africa.
Lastly a number of interpretations about globalization are being accounted for.
Theories: Post colonialism, reporting war, the CNN-effect and 24h news and critical discourse analysis.
Methods: Quantitative analysis and critical discourse analysis.
Main results: The New York Times focused their reporting on war facts, in Cape Times the focus is distributed somewhat equally between all the topics. The New York Times portrays the conflict as cold-blooded and barbaric while Cape times emphasis the civilian and humanitarian aspects. Cape Times is closer to the area in question and the humanitarian aspects are easily understood, furthermore Africa does not see itself as a war-struck continent and victims the same way as the west sees the continent, which explains the absence of war facts in Cape Times. The main result is that geographically and cultural proximity does have a certain effect on how news is being portrayed.
Key words: Africa, war, globalization, news reporting.