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Media and Political Conflict


  • 8 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • Page extent: 270 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.57 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 302.23
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: P95.8 .W65 1997
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Mass media--Political aspects
    • Press and politics

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521580458 | ISBN-10: 0521580455)

DOI: 10.2277/0521580455

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published April 1997

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 (Stock level updated: 02:09 GMT, 28 November 2015)


The news media have become the central arena for political conflicts today. It is, therefore, not surprising that the role of the news media in political conflicts has received a good deal of public attention in recent years. Media and Political Conflict provides readers with an understanding of the ways in which news media do and do not become active participants in these conflicts. The author's 'political contest' model provides an alternative approach to this important issue. The best way to understand the role of the news media in politics, he argues, is to view the competition over the news media as part of a larger and more significant contest for political control. The book is divided into two parts. While the first is devoted to developing the theoretical model, the second employs this approach to analyse the role of the news media in three conflicts: the Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada, and the attempt by the Israeli right wing to derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.

• Was one of the first books to examine the various roles of the news media in political conflicts, arguing that the influence cuts both ways • An original account which will be of interest to students of media studies and journalism, as well as politics and sociology • Analysis is supported by three fascinating illustrations: the Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada, and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process


Introduction; Part I. The Rules of Combat: 1. The structural dimension: the struggle over access; 2. The cultural dimension: the struggle over meaning; 3. Media influence and political outcomes; Part II. The Contests: 4. Political movements and media access: the struggle against the Oslo Accord; 5. Competing frames of the Oslo Accord: a chance for peace or a national disaster?; 6. Controlling the media in insurrections and wars: the intifada and the Gulf war; 7. The contest over media frames in the intifada: David versus Goliath; 8. The cultural struggle over the Gulf war: Iraqi aggression or American imperialism?; Part III. Conclusion: 9. The multi-purpose arena.


'This book contributes a level of increased complexity to media analysis in political conflict that is both worthwhile and needed.' Allen W. Palmer, Journal of International Communication

'There is plenty to admire and a few things to take issue with in Wolfsfeld's well-written and accessible book, something which the author's modest claims and thorough scholarship should well withstand … it is a thought-provoking analysis of the media's role in various conflicts around the world.' Media, Culture and Society

' … this is an excellent and well written book which provides scholars with a much needed and fruitful model for the analysis of news media in political conflict.' Karin Aggestam, The International Journal of Conflict Management

'The book merits wide and careful attention among scholars of political communication and political participation.' American Political Science Review

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