Aljazeera Arabic and BBC Arabic online news coverage of the 2011 Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt: critical discourse analysis

Ismail, Muhammad Marwan Bin (2021). Aljazeera Arabic and BBC Arabic online news coverage of the 2011 Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt: critical discourse analysis. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The Arab Spring, which started in late 2010, has attracted a lot of media attention globally for the political and social significant of the historical event. Media outlets try to portray the event according to their ideological stance and affiliate themselves with either sides of the conflict. This study analyses the Arabic online news discourse of the so-called the ‘Arab Spring’ in Tunisia and Egypt Revolutions. Utilising the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), the study analyses the modern standard Arabic online news discourse of two prominent international media outlets Aljazeera and BBC. Based on the Fairclough’s three-dimensional analysis framework, the study examines how the outlets represent the social events and the social actors of the Revolutions textually and discursively during the first 70 days of the so-called the Arab Spring. Besides, corpus techniques were applied to further enhance the qualitative analysis of CDA with quantitative evidences. The study examines six textual and discursive practice features including the concordance analysis, content analysis, lexicalisation and predication, presupposition, verbal process and intertextuality. The study finds differences between Aljazeera and BBC’s coverage on both the textual and discursive level. Besides, the two outlets practised group polarisation characteristics; the ingroup in BBC’s reporting was the Tunisian and Egyptian governments and the outgroup was the protesters. In contrast, the ingroup in Aljazeera's reporting was the protesters and the outgroup was the two governments. The study recommends that the future research on the media representation of the Arab Spring inquire further into said problems and limitations, in order to produce more comprehensive understanding of media coverage of the Arab Spring.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JZ International relations
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures


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