Reflections of the Image

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The world stands often in the face of moral contentions, determining certain people or events as worthy of security whilst ignoring others. The conscience of watching silently as the genocide in Rwanda unfolded has weighed heavily on the international community’s shoulders, seemingly not heavy enough to refrain from repeating the same mistake however. The role “the visual” plays in framing security issues is what is of interest in this thesis, as it sets out to compare and analyse the BBC’s and Al Jazeera’s representation of the Rohingya genocide between 2017-2019. Ten articles from each news outlet were categorised and analysed according to the analytical tools deducted from the theory of visual securitization. The results of this analysis were that Al Jazeera visually securitized the Rohingya by representing an overarching theme of suffering and individuality, constituting them as threatened and in need of immediate defence. A majority of the BBC’s articles in turn did not visually securitize the Rohingya, instead representing the political implications of the genocide. These results are interpreted as reflections of the wider policy discourse.

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