Europe as Other

Difference in Global Media Discourse


Duration: 2008 – 2010

Research Areas
Media and Communication Studies


The aim of the project was to explore the role of global media in paving the way for cosmopolitan democracy by comparing news broadcast to a global audience by established European and ‘counter-hegemonic’ channels. It was found that reporting in Al Jazeera English (AJE) and Russia Today (RT) differs from that of mainstream global television channels such as BBC World, Deutsche Welle, EuroNews and CNN International, which was added after the project started. But AJE and RT differ from each other as well, and perhaps even more. RT is different from the ‘western’ globals in an old-fashioned, Cold-War sort of way (especially when it comes to coverage of transnational protests and conflicts such as those in Syria and Mali), reflecting the Russian foreign policy position is clear. AJE differs from all the others both in its scope – far more countries and regions are covered – and its tone. Whereas the BBC, above all, gives the power of definition to political elites, AJE tends much more to give space to the voices and views of ordinary people. The project concluded that of all the channels analysed, AJE is the one that can be called ‘global’.

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About the Member

Alexa Robertson

Alexa Robertson is Professor in Media and Communication Studies and docent (associate professor) in Political Science. She does research on global media and cosmopolitanism, with a particular focus on mediations of protest and social inequalities,... Read more