Smedley, B. (2006) Do American newspapers represent democratic values : the case of Southern border provinces in Thailand

Title: Do American newspapers represent democratic values : the case of Southern border provinces in Thailand
Author: Bryce Seaman Smedley
Year: 2006
Keywords: Violence, Thailand (Southern), Mass media, Political aspects, Democracy, Thailand
Thai thesis available here.
Abstract: This dissertation focuses on the issue of media representations of reality, and analyzes the case of violence in Southern Thailand as an example of the manner in which the American media may be misrepresenting reality in its portrayal of global political events. The critical and other empirical reference sources used have been referenced and analyzed to create a theoretical framework within which to understand the media's response to the insurgency in Thailand. The study presents an overview of media effects and other theories to form the analytical framework, with special focus on theories referring to the anthoritarian, the libertarian, and the social construction of reality. The study also outlines the current political climate with reference to the interactions between the U.S. and Thailand. The impact of the media on politics and policy-making has also been examined. The media's relationship to the state, the media's influence on foreign policies, and the monopolistic nature of the U.S. media are also explored. The study characterizes the American media's response to the insurgency in Thailand by means of select articles from the three periodicals chosen for analysis-the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, and the Asian Wall Street Journal. Passages from these articles are analyzed within the conceptual framework of media responsibility theories, with special reference to the media's highlighting of the religious aspects of the violence. It is hypothesized that there seems to be an ideological bias on the part of many American journalists. The study draws the conclusion that the representation of international events by the media seems to be dependent on political ideologies rather than objective aproaches to political events, and that consequently there is a need for media representations and interpretations to be depoliticized

Contact MAIDS-Chula for more information and full thesis at maidschula@gmail.com

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