The suggestive power of the Media

The way Lebanese newspapers have built-in ideological constructs in their articles is just fascinating. Somebody should do an ethnographic account of all this. The art of hiding behind the claim of objective reporting while actually constantly suggesting a version of reality to your readership.
Take for example this sentence from Al-Akhbar’s staff who have lately been great admirers of speaker of parliament Nabih Berri:

ليست هي المرة الاولى التي يغضب فيها الرئيس نبيه بري من موقف للرئيس فؤاد السنيورة يراه مضراً بالجهود التي تبذل لإنقاذ الوطن

Translation: “It’s not the first time speaker Berri gets angry at prime minister Siniora’s viewpoints that he thinks are hampering the efforts to save the nation”
Isn’t Berri implicitly depicted as the wise guy here? He may truly be the wise guy in all this, but that is not the question. The question is to see how the text become a suggestion of something not really stated.
It is in this sense that Al-Akhbar’s journalists are ideologues, albeit good ideologues, as all other Lebanese newspapers’ staff are. And while you’re at it, as all news producers of the world are.

On another note, Berri has to be after Hafez el Asad the shrewdest political tactician in the Middle East. The guy is in Tehran and has already placed himself as an indispensable go-between even there. I won’t be surprised if Berri becomes a starting conduit for possible American-Iranian talks. But it’s really too soon to talk about that.


One Reply to “The suggestive power of the Media”

  1. what is a “good” idealogue? this degree of goodness is only a matter of opinion … and herein lies the problem of al-akhbar. i was hoping for something different.

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