Write a case study of an aspect of a historical or contemporary conflict write a report that describes and analyses the media coverage of it
choose an historical, recent or on-going conflict, but it should be clearly defined. It may be a global conflict, such as the Second World War (or a particular theatre of conflict within that war); or a minor war between two nation-states, such as the Falklands/Malvinas conflict of 1982; or a specific low-grade, long-term guerrilla-terrorist conflict, such as the Vietnam War or the recent conflict in Iraq; or it might be a conceptually defined war (the ‘Cold War’ or the ‘War on Terror’). The report should include a discussion of theories of the media as well as making direct reference to substantive items of media and include consideration of the journalistic and editorial stance adopted, the medium employed, and the possible impact of the material on audience perceptions and government policy.
• Definition: Select and define a particular war or conflict you wish to focus your analysis upon. It is up to you to define the type and parameters of the war/conflict clearly as part of your assignment.
• Media form: You should attempt an overview of the media coverage that addresses such questions as the type of media available at the time and the possible significance the medium itself had, especially where they were innovative (such as TV coverage of Vietnam or Internet reports about Iraq).
• Media content: You should also attempt to characterise the general nature of the media coverage: is it constrained by the functions of censorship and propaganda? Is it impartial or biased? Does it seek the ‘truth’ or to seek to support national or political objectives?
• Substantive examples: You should provide examples of contemporary media coverage of your chosen war/case study, to illustrate and substantiate your discussion. These should include quotations taken directly from media and/or indirectly from examples cited in the academic literature discussing the coverage of the conflict in question.
• Academic analysis: You should cite and discuss academic analysis of the media coverage of the war in question.
• Cultural framing: You should attempt to identify and critically discuss the general framework of cultural mythologies and/or political ideologies, which may be said to underlie specific examples of media coverage. For example, the myths of European imperialism, the ‘necessary illusions’ of the Cold War, or, what many have regarded as the present myth of an all pervasive threat of Islamist terrorism. Where media coverage reflects conflicting ideologies you should acknowledge this.
• Exemplary case: Building on your first assignment, you are invited to evaluate an example of media coverage that you believe to be exemplary in its investigative qualities, dedication to truth, or innovative format. You may use the same individual or institution as you featured in assignment one but you don’t have to.
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