An analysis of the role of media in conflict escalation:
Boğa, Gözde (2006) An analysis of the role of media in conflict escalation:. [Thesis]
In 25-27 May 2005, a conference entitled “Ottoman Armenians During the Decline of the Empire: Issues of Scientific Responsibility and Democracy,” referred to as the “Armenian conference” in this thesis, was scheduled to be held at Bogaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. There were two conflict escalation periods, in May and September 2005 about the conference. Such conflict escalation periods strengthen the parties’ own understanding of the issue and context of conflict; thus, further demarcates the adversaries by increasing the number of issues and parties to the conflict. The purpose of this endeavor is to question a possible link between the media rhetoric and newspapers’ ideological positioning in Turkey in a conflict escalation period and to identify whether the media rhetoric in the Armenian conference was escalation-oriented or de-escalation oriented. The main aim for such an exploration is to emphasize the role of media in conflict escalation processes and the need to develop a constructive conflict environment with conflict analysis and resolution perspective in Turkey. The results of the research suggest that in both escalation periods, escalation-oriented rhetoric was used more by the media. Moreover, it was found that there is a link between the media rhetoric and newspapers’ ideological positioning. Consequently, in Turkey more attention should be paid to the roles of media in conflict situation and most importantly new constructive media policies should be developed by considering the other structural factors that create such a media environment.
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