Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya: Understanding Media Biasc
(Al Jazeera a Al Arabiya: porozumenie zaujatosti médií)
Politické vedy, Volume 23, Number 4/2020, pages 87-108
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
Dominika Kosárová. 2020. Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya: Understanding Media Bias. In Politické Vedy. [online]. Vol. 23, No. 4, 2020. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 87-108. Available at: DOI: https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2020.23.4.87-108
Several studies have been dealing with the question of whether state-sponsored Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya are biased. Their findings suggest that the message of both media reflects the interests of their respective state-sponsors. This article aims to validate this assumption, however in contrast to already existing literature it will test the hypothesis on a non-conflict related case study: the coverage of Muslim Summit which was held in December 2019 in Kuala Lumpur. To achieve the objective, we seek to first identify Al Jazeera’s and Al Arabiya’s bias, its specific features and the message delivered by means of comparative discourse analysis, namely manipulative strategies and ideological square as defined by Blass and van Dijk, respectively. Afterwards, we examine how the identified bias fits into the strategic interests of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, their respective state-sponsors. The analysis shows that both media, when covering Muslim Summit, used manipulative techniques to deliver the opposite message about the Summit, which is in line with their state-sponsors’ often incompatible regional ambitions and foreign policy. This article contributes to already existing literature on Arab media discourse analysis by focusing on a specific non-conflict-related issue not covered by other studies making thus the hypothesis applicable more broadly.
Key Words: Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuala Lumpur Muslim Summit, discourse analysis.