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Comparison of International Media Coverage of the Syrian and Yemeni Crises and its links to Foreign Policy Making

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Syria and Yemen are both countries in which the aftermath of the Arab Uprisings resulted in the eruption of a domestic conflict into a multiplied proxy war. Since then, many international media channels started reporting on the on-going events that
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    Master in Advanced European and International Studies Final thesis Comparison of International Media Coverage of the Syrian and Yemeni Crises and its links to Foreign Policy Making Author: Vanda Bajs Supervisor: Silvia Colombo Academic year 2018/2019    1 I dedicate this thesis to Tomislav Bajs. The person that was potentially the biggest fan of my academic writing and who also provided me with the opportunity to study at CIFE. Thank you Dad.  2 Table of contents Table of abbreviations ................................................................................................. 3 Abstract ....................................................................................................................... 4 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 5 Methodology .............................................................................................................. 6 Limitations ........................................................................................................ 7 Chapter 1: Geopolitical context of both conflicts and its influence on media ........... 8 1.1 Proxy conflict in the Middle East ......................................................................... 9 War in Syria ..................................................................................................... 12 War in Yemen .................................................................................................. 17 1.2 Role of the US, the UK and Russia ..................................................................... 22 The US’ role  .................................................................................................... 22 The UK’s role  .................................................................................................. 27 Russia’s role  .................................................................................................... 30 1.2 Media and agenda-setting of policy makers ........................................................ 34 Chapter 2: Comparison of international media coverage during both crises ......... 38 CNN ................................................................................................................ 39 BBC News ....................................................................................................... 41 Russia Today ................................................................................................... 46 Arab News ....................................................................................................... 48 Tehran Times ................................................................................................... 49 Chapter 3: Influence of media on foreign policy making......................................... 52 3.1 Media framing in cases of Syria and Yemen ....................................................... 53 3.2 The influence of social media on policy making during the Arab Uprisings ........ 57 3.3 The CNN effect in Syria and Yemen and its impact of foreign policy makers ..... 61 Conclusion ................................................................................................................. 65 Bibliography ................................................................................................................ 6  3 Table of Abbreviations BBC British Broadcasting Corporation CAAT Campaign Against Arms Trade CNN Cable News Network EU European Union FSA Free Syrian Army GCC Gulf Cooperation Council ICG International Crisis Group IHL International Humanitarian Law IR International Relations IS Islamic State ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIS Islamic State of Iraq and Syria JCPOA Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action JMP Joint Meeting Parties MENA Middle East and North Africa MP Member of Parliament NGO Non-Governmental Organisation UK United Kingdom UN United Nations UN-OPCW United Nations- Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons US United States  4 Abstract Syria and Yemen are both countries in which the aftermath of the Arab Uprisings resulted in the eruption of a domestic conflict into a multiplied proxy war. Since then, many international media channels started reporting on the on-going events that occurred, especially in Syria. In Syria, many global key players started to get involved in the conflict such as the US, Britain, France and Russia. Yemen was marked as an important territory for regional hegemons such as Saudi Arabia and Iran which are involved in a proxy conflict in various countries in the Middle East, two of them being Syria and Yemen. With the emergence of global and regional players as well as international media channels in both conflicts, the correlation between foreign policy making and media is questioned. This thesis aims to examine how foreign policy making and media influence one another by analysing in which way politics in media intertwine in the cases of Syrian and Yemeni crises.
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