The state media and social responsibility by alicejenny


									Media Strategic Framing of Muslim
Collectives ‘The UMMAH’ only shows
strips of reality.

         Presented by Sara Al Mojaddidi
     Erasmus Mundus Thematic Conference
   “Communication: Let’s re-define the terms”
                  March 2010
Definition of the ‘UMMAH’
 “The sacred text of Islam, the Qur'an , uses term, ummah, to
  refer to the community of believers. The term is used to describe
  both individual communities, both great and small, of faithful
  Muslims and to refer to the world-wide community of
  believers—in the latter sense of the term it is synonymous with
  dar al-Islam

 "The House of Islam," which refers to the world Islamic
  community. In its widest sense (…) and sometimes to the entire
  human community. Strictly speaking, however, the ummah
  almost always refers to the Islamic community in either concrete
  reality or in the abstract. Since Islam was inaugurated by
  Muhammad, it is Muhammad that is the founder of the ummah
  .” (R.Hoker,1996)
A Misconception of foreign

Vehicles of           Supranational
 Change               Communities
     Shawn Powers’ notions of Media ‘Framing’

 ‘Framing’ : as a non-static means of expression that illustrates a
  particular journalistic portrayal of one ‘specific symbol’, (Powers,
  2008) of culture, such as
   - Nationalistic Muslims - Jihadists - Shaheeds – Extremists-
  Radicals-Fundamentalists              (The list is endless)
   An obvious benefit to utilizing the clash narrative while emphasizing
  the supposed generalization of the ‘ violent’ nature of Muslim protests.
 - “The media’s ability to tap into cultural codes, but also profits from
  the benefits of sensationalizing and dramatizing global events.”
  (Powers, 2008)
             Re-defining our terms
        Globalization                      ‘The Ummah’ model

 “is a matter of increasing long      Solid unification of static ideals
  distance interconnectedness, at       and a brotherhood that abides
  least across national boundaries,     by its religious pillars of faith.
  preferably between continents        Living in a high accessible world
  as well.” (Hannerz, 1996)             via Internet also enhances the
                                        scholarship process of
 Living in a sophisticated realm       mainstreaming technological
  of                                    advances along a traditional,
   high visibility, where the           religious background.
  Internet has contributed greatly
  to our ‘Network Society’ which
  in turns crates a ‘ high Risk’
  Society .
 With the ever growing vastness of information, one
 tends to feel that the rise of new media: Internet,
 digital media and electronic news wires, tends to
 overflow the world wide web
 However !
 Within a high accessible society, information becomes
 fragmented and there is a lack of accountability
 regarding the complex social fabric of norms that are
 alien of our own traditions.
The concept of ‘One Community’
 Muslims occupy about 20% of the world’s religious population
  and probably occupy half of the sensationalist news frames we
  see on CNN and on Al Jazeerah today.
 Globalisation might constitute an essence of being
  interconnected and participating within a global community, but
  where is the scholarship in limiting all vehicles of change to one
  type of model.
 Information Age, Supranational, Globalisation might all resonate
  similar definitions but you have Muslims living within their own
  supraterritorial community which might seem as a culmination
  of different groups. which is incorrect, ‘The Ummah’ is defined
  as ‘ one community’ , which is the paradox most social theorists
  need to debate on.
‘Strategic Framing’ and the Roles the media
takes upon itself: The Danish Cartoon Crisis
 From the beginning of time , pictures are sought out to
  be widely comprehended than a universal language
  employed by today’s globalised world.
 The paradox of ‘freedom of expression’ verses ‘ wheels
  of morality’ both the media and the civil society were
  at fault.
 To ignite a particular debate mediated by ‘Danish
  tradition’ to help soften a sensitive issue will without a
  doubt rekindle all fires of resentment which leads to
  Hunigton’s ‘ Clash of Civilizations’.
What role does the media play in the rush towards
 Jyllands-Posten's, a journalistic medium which ideally
  represents a platform for conveying the message across
  , expanded its role from an objective medium towards
  other roles such as ‘ instigator’ and ‘conductor’.
 Clash narratives are frequently used within ‘strategic
  framing’ eg ‘ burning flags, riots , rampage’ whereas
  silent demonstrations such as the out come of 5000
  Muslims in front of Jyllands-Posten’s office in pursuit
  of an apology, was marginalized by the media.
"To be clear, Senator
  Obama has never
 been a Muslim, was
not raised a Muslim,
 and is a committed
Christian who attends
the United Church of
  Christ in Chicago.
   Furthermore, the
  Indonesian school
 Obama attended in
  Jakarta is a public
school that is not and
   never has been a
 - Obama statement
Media’s Role as a Gatekeeper
 The notion of other Western newspapers reaching a
  unique sense of solidarity of choosing to republish
 the infamous ‘caricatures/Danish cartoon crisis’
  clashed with the orthodox basic media’s role as a
  ‘medium’ conveying the message across.

 French newspapers like France Soir and German
 newspapers choosing to republish can only be
 described as the media taking upon itself a new role of
 ‘instigator’ and ‘gatekeeper
Multiple Roles of the Media
 The media taking it upon itself a new role of being an
 ‘instigator’ or gatekeeper to echo its beliefs of freedom
 of expression and engage subjectively such as France
 Soir by denouncing that “ religious dogma has no place
 in a secular society.” (Powers, 2006)

 This is a dramatic shift of mediums being objective
 towards a complex role that the media decides to
 participate subjectively in the increasingly
 interconnected global media landscape. ‘mediatized
 rituals’ (Simon Cottle).
The so called Ethos ?
 Flemming Rose, stood by his principles of addressing a
  concern that was seen as a crucial problem within a
  local Danish community. The problem with ethos is
  everything is taken out of context, even if the
  intentions were not ‘malaise’.
 The initial end product of the caricatures was to
  instigate a debate that would critically engage at
  understanding why is their self censor ship with
  regards Islamic Religious figures.
“Imagined Communities”
 “In an anthropological spirit, then, I propose the following
  definition of the nation: it is an imagined political community -
  and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.

  It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation
  will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or
  even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of
  their communion... In fact, all communities larger than
  primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and perhaps even
  these) are imagined. Communities are to be distinguished, not
  by their falsity/genuineness, but by the style in which they are

 *According to Georgetown University’s extracts from introduction
Linkage to Anderson’s theory of
‘definition of a nation’
 “Benedict Anderson (Media Scholar) is the author of
  one of the most important concepts in political
geography, that of nations being ‘imagined

 It is imperative to understand that ‘Ummah’ and
 ‘globalisation’ are viewed as ‘vehicles of change’ but are
 completely different as one entity constitutes to a
 transfer of ideas whereas the ‘Ummah’ is static and
 focuses on the overall census of all Muslims existing in
 the world.
Case Study 1: Danish Cartoon
 The ethical question lies in whether or not Flemming Rose,
  stood by his principles of addressing a concern that was seen as a
  crucial problem within the local Danish community.
 The problem with ‘ethos’ or ‘ethical questioning’ is they all
  function differently and are understood in a different context
  when taken out of their local elements and later fragmented and
  ‘lost in interpretation on an international landscape. The initial
  end product of the cartoon crisis was to instigate a debate that
  would critically engage at understanding why is their self
  censorship when it comes to Islamic Religious figures?
Case Study 2: Fatal Commentary

 When Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel wrote a comment
 on Prophet Mohammed and a beauty pageant, little did she
 know that her words would change her life.By Hilde Marie
 Tvedten (text) and Lars Idar Waage (photo) 10.09.2008 14:37
Global Sensitivities
 There is a growing threat between fear and lack of
  understanding within journalistic principles that oppose ‘self
  censorship’ as per the first case study mentioned and the
  aftermath of the media and their responsibilities of upholding
  the peace as the media can not be the only devised journalistic
  portrayal of cultures.

 If we are to live in an interconnected global media landscape,
  where the internet and transfer of information knows no
  limitations, there needs to be a strengthened policy for cultural
  ethics whether it be the examination of roles the media tends to
  play in this ‘rush’ of a globalised world. Ethical questions and the
  preservation of norms and values such as the case of Muslims
  sensitivity towards the ‘illustrations’ of prophet Muhammad, will
  forever be questioned and needs to be incorporated in the heart
  of today’s mass media.
Concluding Statement

   However the media should not act as a catalyst that
     instigates civil rivalries, boycotts and riots. The
  complexity of the increasingly interconnected global
 landscape calls for a ‘sensitive’ platform that should be
    digressed and not dismissed in today’s globalized
   arena of journalistic depictions of a specific culture.

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