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Strategic Narratives in Media Representations of the Refugee Crisis of 2015: A Comparative Study between RT and BBC World News
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, JMK.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

As immigration turns into the scapegoat of political and social tensions all over the

world and politicians that seem to be talking about migration flows communicate instead their

conception of the world and where it should head, this study investigates the refugee crisis of

2015 as represented in the two global television channels RT and BBCW.

Widely studied for the depiction the press gives of the refugees, for the first time the

refugee crisis is analyzed as an arena where competing understandings of international

relations are constructed, in a media ecology where a myriad of actors have a chance to

foreground their truth and where wars are fought, and possibly won, through the weapons of

values, culture and the attraction they exercise (Nye Jr. 1990, 2013). Borrowing the concept

of strategic narratives from international relations (Miskimmon et al. 2013) and applying it to

textual analysis, the study employs framing analysis to operationalize it and explores a sample

of 144 news items (74 from RT and 70 from BBCW) broadcast in August and September

2015 to retrace the narratives of the two channels.

It finds out that, although conflicting with each other, both RT’s and BBCW’s

narratives are strategic and aim at constructing a past, present and future of international

relations that can influence what we expect, consider acceptable or conceivable on the

international theater. The channels’ narratives are about the destiny of Europe and countries,

depicting a reality that still responds to old Cold War dividing lines. An analysis of the actors

allowed to speak and represented as acting confirms that in RT and BBCW political elites and

the nations they represent have a greater chance, compared to other actors, to define

international politics and shape shared understandings of how international relations works

and where it is heading.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 114
Keywords [en]
strategic narratives, refugee crisis, global television, RT, Russia Today, BBC World News, soft power, new media ecology
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-159803OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-159803DiVA, id: diva2:1245910
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Available from: 2019-02-18 Created: 2018-09-06 Last updated: 2019-02-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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