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Peace journalism and Thailand's southern insurgency: a comparative analysis of the conflict coverage in Bangkok Post and The Nation.

Indradat, A., 2015. Peace journalism and Thailand's southern insurgency: a comparative analysis of the conflict coverage in Bangkok Post and The Nation. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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IINDRADAT, Arpapat_Ph.D-2015.pdf



Since 2004, Thailand has experienced a resurgence of violence in the three southern border provinces. This conflict has worsened the relationship between the majority Thais and the minority Muslims, with serious ramifications for the education, economy and health care system of the region. The Thai media have been blamed for exacerbating the situation, with critics claiming that newspapers reporting on the conflict often expresses prejudice, negativity and bias in providing only one side of the story. This thesis assesses these and related criticisms through the lens of ‘Peace Journalism’ in order to examine the guiding tenets of war journalism while, at the same time, exploring the basis to propose alternative approaches to reporting. In methodological terms, the empirical case study draws on a content analysis of pertinent coverage produced by two English-language newspapers (Bangkok Post and The Nation) reporting on the three major incidents during the first year of the southern conflict as well as semi-structured interviews with journalists and editors in order to better understand how and why they present the conflict in the ways that they do. Key findings indicated that the coverage of the two English-language newspapers shared the same main elements of war and peace journalism, with the former's emphasis on elite interests, visible effects of war, and a here and now perspective, and the latter's emphasis on multiparty-orientations, victim-centred priorities, and the causes and consequences of the conflict. Both newspapers relied firstly on the 'elite' group as main news actors and news sources, with a secondary focus on 'people', which suggests that the voices of people affected by the incidents were not neglected in their reportings. The analysis of labels revealed that, compared to Bangkok Post, which tended to use labels with neutral terms, The Nation used wider range of labels that include both emotive and negative terms. In sum, the study revealed surprising evidence of more peace journalism elements in the conflict coverage. This is because both newspapers under scrutiny perform objective journalism that involves investigative reporting and the engagement of all sides in the coverage. In addition, the situation of the three incidents affected the war and peace approaches in the coverage, see from the increasing trend of peace journalism over the course of three incidents. The semi-structured interviews revealed that the organisational principles and the format of the newspapers guided the way the journalists report the conflict. To improve the conflict coverage, journalists need support from their organisations in order to increase their level of expertise and experience in covering the southern conflict. The thesis concludes with recommendations on improving the quality of newspaper reporting on this conflict.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Conflict reporting ; Peace journalism ; War journals
ID Code:24512
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:16 Aug 2016 10:03
Last Modified:09 Aug 2022 16:03


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