Distant Suffering : A multimodal analysis of the politics of pity in news agencies’ mediation of the chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun
Abstract: This thesis explores of how American and British television mediated the crisis that started with the 4 April 2017 alleged chemical attack in Syria and culminated with the subsequent attack on Syria by the United States 7 April 2017. It builds upon a rich literature and focuses on the politics of pity in the mediated representation of distant suffering as set out by Luc Boltanski. The thesis utilizes a methodological approach which merges Lilie Chouliaraki’s ‘analytics of mediation’ with Roxanne Lynn Doty’s view of discourse analysis. The results find that CNNW mediated the distant suffering based on ostensibly a priori knowledge, whereas BBC News was more inclined to guide the spectators along a line of investigative reasoning.
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