Prominent media scholars have argued that the dissemination of
propaganda is an important function of the news media. Yet, despite
public controversies about `fake news' and `misinformation', there
has been very little discussion on techniques of propaganda.
Building on critical theory, most notably Herman and Chomsky's
Propaganda Model, Florian Zollmann's pioneering study brings
propaganda back to the forefront of the debate. On the basis of a
forensic examination of 1,911 newspaper articles, Zollmann
investigates US, UK and German media reporting of the military
operations in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Egypt. The book
demonstrates how `humanitarian intervention' and `R2P' are only
evoked in the news media if so called `enemy' countries of Western
states are the perpetrators of human rights violations. Zollmann's
work evidences that the news media plays a crucial propaganda role
in facilitating a selective process of shaming during the build-up
towards military interventions. This process has led to an erosion
of internationally agreed norms of non-intervention, as enshrined
in the UN Charter.
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