Media Representation of the Gerd Negotiations: the Case of Al-Ahram, Fana Broadcasting Corporate (Fbc) and Bbc Online

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Addis Ababa University


The objective of the study was to analyze how the GERD negotiation was represented by FBC, Al-Ahram and BBC websites. To accomplish this purpose, media representation theory was used as theoretical frameworks to analyze the data. The time frame of the data was from January 2020 up to December 2020 and collected from, and Mixed research design was used. Accordingly, quantitative content analysis and discourse analysis were employed for this study. The purpose of the quantitative content analysis was to classify and examine the representation and sources cited by the selected media. The aim of the discourse analysis was to give detailed explanations of the words and phrases used by the selected media in unfolding the negotiation and to explain the representations that couldn’t be explained only in numbers. The quantitative data was categorized in parallel with the story’s nature of positive, negative, mixed, and neutral representations and it had two categories which are representation analysis and sources cited by the selected media. The results of this study indicated that FBC and Al-Ahram had a larger positive representation whereas BBC had a larger negative representation. When we see the sources, FBC, Al-Ahram and BBC cited people and documents as their sources of information in the articles, and people appeared to be the major sources of information for all the three media outlets. Results from the qualitative discourse analysis revealed that the selected websites used various words and expressions to describe the countries, the negotiation, and the GERD. The discourse analysis also showed that the GERD were described in different ways. FBC and Al-Ahram headlines were skewed mostly to positive whereas BBC’s portrayal of the dam has negative representation. Al-Ahram depicted the dam as ‘Ethiopian Mega-dam’, ‘GERD’, ‘Nile Dam’, ‘$4.8 billion near-complete dam’. FBC portrayal of the dam were the same across all the headlines which is ‘GERD’. The representation of the GERD in BBC’s headlines were ‘Ethiopian Dam’, ‘Nile Dam’, ‘Controversial Mega Dam’, ‘Ethiopia’s river Nile dam’, ‘River Nile Dam’, ‘Nile Giant Dam’. The portrayal and representation of the dam on BBC’s and Al-Ahram’s headline have some similarities in expression. Al-Ahram depicted the dam from size, the investment it took and using the generic name of the river.