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German print media coverage in the Bosnia and Kosovo wars of the 1990s

Wunsch, Margit (2012) German print media coverage in the Bosnia and Kosovo wars of the 1990s. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This is a novel study of the German press’ visual and textual coverage of the wars in Bosnia (1992-95) and Kosovo (1998-99). Key moments have been selected and analysed from both wars using a broad range of publications ranging from extreme-right to extreme-left and including broadsheets, a tabloid and a news-magazine, key moments have been selected from both wars. Two sections with parallel chapters form the core of the thesis. The first deals with the war in Bosnia and the second the conflict in Kosovo. Each section contains one chapter on the initial phase of the conflict, one chapter on an important atrocity – namely the Srebrenica Massacre in Bosnia and the Račak incident in Kosovo – and lastly a chapter each on the international involvement which ended the immediate violence. The coverage of nine national publications is closely examined for each timeframe. The thesis examines how the various events were covered, what sources were used and what insights the publications conveyed. Where possible, a further comparative perspective has been added by the inclusion of German parliamentary debates and the relevant UN press releases. This provides a useful comparison between the political discourse and the coverage of the German press. Special attention has been paid to four key themes, which emerged from the research. Firstly, the changing perceptions of the Serbian President Slobodan Milošević and the issue of who was to blame for the conflicts; secondly, how various armed forces, including the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army and the Kosovo Liberation Army were presented in the German press; thirdly, the persistent presence of the Second World War as well as the Holocaust and how they shaped the press’ interpretation of the violence; and lastly, how Germany’s role in the Balkans – both in the realms of diplomacy and military intervention – was evaluated by the national press. Pictures and cartoons accompanying the textual coverage were included to present a more rounded picture of press coverage.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Margit Wunsch
Library of Congress subject classification: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: RodriguezSalgado, Maria-Jose

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