Role of the media in shaping opinion in case of humanitarian interventions |
Example of Somalia |
Mass Media and Society |
June 2010 |
ThesisThe way that TV news is creating emotion (through the power of images) in its audience is an essential element to understand how some humanitarian interventions have been decided |
Nowadays, communications come across boundaries, thus we can, more easily than never, be aware of what is happening in isolated areas. Who, in Europe or in the USA, doesn’t remember the shocking images of people dying in Somalia that were diffused in all television, in all newspapers? In this particular case, it was the raise of public opinion, asking their governments to stop these atrocities that lead the countries to launch a humanitarian intervention there. This new form of communication has changed the way politicians and governments are acting, especially in developed countries with liberal views, and the importance they are giving to what their people think. But it also raises another question: the one about mass media agenda setting. When we see how many people are suffering in so many places all over the world, we undoubtedly ask us why media are talking about issues in some countries while other situations remain unknown by public opinion. And how do the media do to choose which humanitarian issue to emphasize and which not?
By considering the use of the right of humanitarian intervention when the population of a country is in danger and that its State is unwilling or unable to protect them, the UN Security Council can intervene in countries where serious gross human rights violations are taking place. Indeed, in such case like apartheid or genocide, the Security Council is authorized by the United Nations Charter to take coercive measures. As a result, it is most often admitted that the International Community has a “responsibility to protect” in such... [continues]
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