15. Name: Rasha El-Ibiyary Title: Televisual Representation of the ‘War on Terror’: A Comparative Analysis of Al Jazeera and CNN in Covering the 2003 Invasion of Iraq Institution: University of Newcastle Upon-Tyne Country: United Kingdom Date: 2006 Language: English Abstract: This thesis examines the power relationship binding the military and media in television coverage of contemporary wars, and shaping the visual representations that foster public opinion. Al Jazeera was chosen because its coverage has deeply challenged the Pentagon’s version of the whole issue, as shown on CNN and other American and Western media. Through thematic content and discourse analysis, the study attempts to determine the role played by Al Jazeera and CNN, concerning both the audience and military of both sides of the conflict. It also looks at the extent to which their communicated imagery and perspective reflect this role. The analysis demonstrates the decisive impact of military power on televisual knowledge as well as its limitations in fulfilling strategic goals. The evident power exercised by the aggressors’ media on its televisual representation seems to have been deeply resisted, and even challenged, by Al Jazeera’s abundant supply of imagery, speeches and viewpoints of official figures from the invaded country. The perceived power of Al Jazeera’s imagery and its accompanying discourse vis- à-vis CNN was strikingly indicated in this comparative content and discourse analysis.
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