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  • Patterns of Reporting: Fields, Countries, Ideology, and Gender

    Joachim J. Savelsberg

    Chapter from the book: Savelsberg, J. 2015. Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur.


    This chapter presents an analysis of journalism on Darfur, based on interview data and the Darfur Media Data Set, highlighting the varying influence of other fields. After initial neglect, peaks in reporting followed political initiatives, especially Kofi Annan’s analogical bridging from the Rwandan genocide—on its tenth anniversary—to Darfur, and ICC interventions. Judicial interventions also enhanced citations of the crime frame and reports about killings and rapes. The humanitarian field was a crucial source for journalists, and the humanitarian emergency frame initially fared prominently, but its use declined quickly, as continued suffering was no longer news, and after the government of Sudan barred humanitarian-aid organizations from Darfur. The diplomatic field produced dramatic moments, with the involvement of prominent actors, which colors reporting. In line with globalization arguments, patterns of reporting followed similar paths in all countries, but at different levels. Liberal papers more often addressed Darfur in the early stages, but that difference became neutralized with the onset of formal interventions. Gender mattered, as female reporters were more likely to address rape. These patterns are linked to a Bourdieuian sociology of the journalistic field.

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    Savelsberg, J. 2015. Patterns of Reporting: Fields, Countries, Ideology, and Gender. In: Savelsberg, J, Representing Mass Violence. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.4.j

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Aug. 27, 2015