..and here’s Ollie with the weather.

Top story today: The US commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal , has been removed from his post. FOX and Al Jazeera news, one based in US and the latter in Doha, Qatar, covered this story on their front page.
Click on the pictures below for the link to both their stories:

On first look, it is interesting how the choice of words used in the headlines differ so much. Using the words “sacked” by Al Jazeera gives a much more shameful notion compared to the word “relieved” used by FOX. If you read both articles, you would have noticed a difference in impression that is given of General McChrystal. In my opinion, the poorer impression is given by Al Jazeera, using terms like “poor judgement” in regards to the general while FOX is seemed to be trying to “save his face”, showering him with mixed reactions by the officials.

Now that the decision to remove the general is made, I would think that the recovery would be the next issue the government is facing. Who will take his place and how would the people of Afghanistan and the others in the World react to the next big decision? Repeated news coverage by FOX raises the importance of this issue and gets its viewers thinking.

Check this related article out, found on the side bar of the “most read” news, regarding the impact of General McChrystal exit citing him as one of the key players of the US strategy in Afghanistan.

Watch this video on FOX’s coverage if the newly appoint general, Patraeus, is qualified for the job.
Is Petraeus the Right Man for Afghanistan?.

All the coverage gets the readers thinking if such a loss of an important figure was worth it at all and if in fact General McChrystal’s actions was dire enough for removal. The video shows their opinions in defending General McChrystal. Watching it made me realise how there is so much press freedom in the US! Media hegemony, supported by the Marx view, really shows here how economic power overrules political power. The guys at FOX can really speak their mind, even towards the president!

Now the agenda setting function is taking place, with FOX giving extensive coverage about General McChrystal’s actions and the US administration reactions. All these prime the viewers to think about, not what to think of, Obama’s quality of a president, the decision making skills of the US government and its strategy in Afganistan.

How about Al Jazeera’s coverage?

I find it so interesting that one article from an influential magazine can bring down the career of a General so important and influential in the relationship between nations. This really showed me the power of mass media and how the moderate effects theory causes all the reactions in the mass media to sway or maintain the perception of its viewers. Also, did you notice how both news companies shifted the spotlight from the general and his removal to the ability of President Obama? It’s getting the viewers thinking!

Let’s keep it simple guys, like this:

All images and videos are not owned by me but by their respective owners.
Sources:
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/06/2010623141219526213.html
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/24/mcchrystals-exit-comes-critical-time-war/
http://video.foxnews.com/v/4251490/is-petraeus-the-right-man-for-afghanistan?playlist_id=86858
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/23/mcchrystal-afghanistan-fate/

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Terence on June 29, 2010 at 2:25 am

    great way of identifying the differences between the 2 reports. a very interesting and insightful view into the media world. honestly the american company would definitely try to “save face” for their fellow american whereas the al jazeera would just state the facts very clearly and point oriented. they are honest and thats what people really need to hear, the truth.

    Reply

    • Hi Terence!

      Thanks for the feedback!
      Yes I agree that a company would want to save the face of their parent nation but I’m also not too sure if the opposition is, really telling the whole truth! Haha I feel that the mass media, no matter where, will be baised in some way or another.

      See ya in school!

      Reply

  2. i feel that this post really drives home the point about how influential mass media can be. i remember reading an article in time magazine whereby gen mcchrystal received glowing reviews and endorsements for his leadership in afghanistan. fast forward to today and all his good performance is undone by a seemingly innocent interview in a magazine, albeit a popular one. when the interview was published, the white house was compelled to act as it, i believe, did not want gen mcchrystal to undermine its authority at a time where the white house seems to be overwhelmed by the oil spill. hence the white house sought to influence the masses before popular perception turned against them by removing the general from his post. just my 2 cents on the issue. cheers.

    Reply

    • Hi Ken!

      Great insight!
      Isn’t it interesting how a magazine article can bring a General down?
      This issue really shows the effects of mass media and how it can influence even polictical decisions!

      Thanks for the comment dude!

      Reply

  3. Posted by Caitlin on July 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    well language definitely plays a large part and i believe in a largely democratic and free society like the United States they do not as much have to stop to think about what they want to say for they have a large freedom of speech. as an individualistic society, the people do not care much about saving each other’s face for they are more concerned of their own. this is reflected in Al Jazeera news which certainly reflects the individualistic culture in America.

    Reply

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