The inadequacy of Western media theory in third world internal conflicts : the case of military censorship in Sri Lanka

Frederick, Howard and De Alwis, Chandrika K. 2006, The inadequacy of Western media theory in third world internal conflicts : the case of military censorship in Sri Lanka, in Mapping the new field of communication for development and social change : Proceedings of the Communication, Globalisation and Cultural Identities International Conference, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland.

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Title The inadequacy of Western media theory in third world internal conflicts : the case of military censorship in Sri Lanka
Author(s) Frederick, Howard
De Alwis, Chandrika K.
Conference name Communication, Globalisation and Cultural Identities International Conference (2006 : Brisbane, Queensland)
Conference location Brisbane, Queensland
Conference dates 5-8 Jul. 2006
Title of proceedings Mapping the new field of communication for development and social change : Proceedings of the Communication, Globalisation and Cultural Identities International Conference
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2006
Publisher University of Queensland
Place of publication Brisbane, Queensland
Summary Research on media production and on media effects under military censorship has centred primarily on cross-border conflicts being waged by Western regimes. There is a noticeable void in understanding internal conflicts, particularly so within the Asian region. To help address this lacuna, we content-analyse Sri Lankan newspaper samples of two critical military campaigns within the Sri Lankan separatist conflict to gain insight into an Asian internal conflict within the context of military censorship and culture. We discover that supposedly stringent censorship regulations and the rules of the official communication systems have almost no effect on Sri Lankan newspapers, which demonstrate a unique talent to circumvent these strictures. During these bloody internal conflicts, the Sri Lankan press enjoyed freedom of expression, flaunted social responsibility and their watchdog instincts, and, most interestingly for us, demonstrated the failure of the Western propaganda model and other theoretical perspectives. The importance of understanding cultural dimensions before theorizing media behaviour in order to obtain a more rational understanding of the sociology of media is posited by this study. We conclude with discussion of a new model of media censorship which has more relevance in Asian internal conflicts.
Language eng
Field of Research 150304 Entrepreneurship
Socio Economic Objective 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
ERA Research output type X Not reportable
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30022223

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Management and Marketing
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