Carratalá, Adolfo (2017). “The impact of media and NGOs on four European Parliament discourses about conflicts in the Middle East”. Media, War & Conflict. First Published: September 19, 2017.
There is empirical evidence of media influence on parliamentary agenda, especially when media coverage privileges conflict framing of reality and negativity. This article addresses the impact of media presence (traditional and social media) and NGOs on European parliamentary discussions about violent conflicts in the Middle East and their role during phases of escalation and pacification. The authors content analysed 7,633 minutes from debates involving the Syrian (from January 2011 to June 2015) and Israeli–Palestinian (from March 2006 to June 2015) conflicts, from the European Parliament (N = 2,541), the German Bundestag (N = 2,138), the UK House of Commons (N = 2,514) and the French Assemblée Nationale (N = 440). Conflict-related paragraphs were filtered and analysed. Using the multilingual and cross-validated dictionary adapted to conflict and media analysis created by Infocore, they measured the presence of media and actors as well as the inclusion of conflict-key concepts within parliamentary discussions. Findings revealed that social media (when compared to traditional media and NGOs) are the main actors quoted in parliamentary minutes when they refer to violent conflicts and that this attention varies over time and is driven by focusing events. The presence of traditional and social media as well as NGOs in the debates was significantly different depending on the parliament studied and the conflict under consideration. The authors found empirical evidence supporting the claim that such concepts as limited violence, crisis, assistance and pacification are correlated with the presence of media and NGOs.