Iraq's December 2005 election : reporting democratisation in the Australian and Middle Eastern print media
conference contributionposted on 01.01.2006, 00:00 authored by Benjamin IsakhanBenjamin Isakhan
Throughout the coverage of Iraq since the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s and especially since September 11, the Western mainstream Media have eschewed key historical and contextual data about Iraq, thereby serving to reduce and homogenize the complexity of the issues surrounding the region and the conflicts therein. In so doing, the media has tended towards Orientalism (Said, 1978) by trivialising Iraq and its people and thereby reinforcing the hegemony of the West over the ‘backward, barbaric’ East. Building on earlier research (Isakhan, 2005a), this paper further examines the reductive and homogenising reporting of Iraq in the Western media by using both quantitative and qualitative assessment methods to compare and contrast the discursive practices used to construct the Iraqi election of December 15, 2005 in Australia’s leading daily newspapers with newspapers from the Middle East. In essence, it finds that while the Australian media propagates Orientalism through its one-eyed coverage, the Middle Eastern papers are more contemplative, focusing on the impact that this election could have throughout the region.