From despotism to democracy : reporting Iraq's January 2005 election in the Australian and Middle Eastern print media
Isakhan, Ben 2005, From despotism to democracy : reporting Iraq's January 2005 election in the Australian and Middle Eastern print media, in JEA 2005 : Proceedings of the 2005 Journalism Education Association conference, Griffith University, School of Arts, Griffith, Qld., pp. 1-22.
It is only in recent times that the magnitude of Ancient Mesopotamia’s contribution to language, agriculture, modern thought and urbane society has begun to be understood. Most relevant to this study is the governance of Mesopotamia’s early city-states by a political system that Jacobsen has termed ‘Primitive Democracy’ where “…ultimate political power rested with a general assembly of all adult freemen” (Jacobsen, 1977; 128). Yet, despite this, the coverage of Iraq in the Western media since its creation at the end of the First World War and particularly since the first Gulf War, has tended towards Orientalism (Said, 1978) by trivialising this nation and thereby reinforcing the hegemony of the West over the ‘backward, barbaric’ East.
This paper examines this issue further by comparing and contrasting the representations of the Iraqi election of January 30, 2005 in four of Australia’s leading daily newspapers (The Australian, The Courier-Mail, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald) with four Middle Eastern English language papers (The Daily Star from Lebanon, Andolu Agency and Dunya both based in Turkey, and the eponymous Kuwait Times). In essence, it finds that while the Australian media posits democracy as a Western concept and asserts a discourse of US hegemony, the Middle Eastern papers are more contemplative, focusing on the impact that this election could have throughout the region.
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Field of Research
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
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