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Media Coverage of recent Georgia-Russia Conflict

With the increasing International Borders and complex International Relations, the cold and proxy wars and sudden attacks are becoming cliche in the evident of worldview. In recent time, such an attack has been carried out by Russia on its former Soviet state of Georgia. The media coverage of this conflict has been recorded with various causes, which has further been the subject for content analysis to extract the essence of the story. This will identify, whether the intention of the reporting is near to its target audience or the publishing.

To initiate the micro views of the bigger picture, stories have reported issues of air strike carried out by the Russian jets in the central Georgian town of Gori on its military targets close to the border passage of South Ossetia. It is a typical issue of the military organisation, where border conflicts have announced the state of war. The blame game of the countries are facing each other on the ground of possession, Russia turned the table by showing itself already injured by Georgia, over South Ossetia.

Surrounding this, the attack further extended to another border transit of Kodori Gorge. The resent attack is the after-burn of the Georgian military movement of a sudden attack on South Ossetia to regain it back. Following the 1992 Civil War the country had the de facto independent status. But the sudden attack forced Moscow to deploy full scale military operation, answering the civilian and the country’s soldier’s casualty. Though, Georgia denied the whole report of the Russian military sources.

Different views have come up from the other major power that the Russian operation on Georgia can make the situation more critical, backed by the information of the Iraqi support, replacing the crisis of the Georgian troop engaged in capturing South Ossetia. Parallel view has also reported of the chances of loosing the regional harmony and the disrespect given to Georgian territory as the resent attack has taken place far from the region of Gori. The target zone, Tskhinvali of South Ossetia had come under the effect of the two forces, where Russia was laying low and Georgia was intensifying.

The presence of the interest group has been recorded as The International Red Cross (ICRC) has confirmed the receipt of their service when the city hospitals were filled with the causalities. As the air operation in the target zone went to the scale of military invasion, the Russian forces bombed the military target in Gori, which was the supply line to Georgian troops in the zone of attack. By the concern of the story, this introduces the spin of the story with a positive bias from the tactical point of view.

Under the effect of territorial claims, Russia acted with its strike on South Ossetia to restore the situation by stopping the ongoing attacks of the Georgian forces to balance the regional harmony. Critically reviewing, launching this kind of attacks are quite cliche for the U. S. forces. And in that context, the subtle agitation of the U. S. can be ruled out (BBC NEWS, 2008). Even after the Russian conformation of withdrawing of forces, the nation is under the blame of deployment of intensified military activities. The U. S.

officials actively pointed on the fact Russia has moved into heavy artillery and also changed its position of attack, from where the Russian missiles can penetrate far into Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Despite the six-point cease-fire agreement by Russian President, the aggression of the Russian force has made the spin of the story a frustrating lot. It is too queer to make judge the polarity of the biasness. As political impact, America has demanded the removal of the military with the peace keeping force even, with the International peace keeping force in its place.

This shows the obvious agitation of the western power for the clear presence of the Government and political importance in the present Russian base (news hour, 2008). After several demands, the aggression of Russia clears the air that the region has a political and military implication of recollecting the scattered portion of the past soviet. The increased monitoring by the western officials might have provoked Russia to carry out this exercise to strengthen the position over Georgia too.

The intensified movements of Russia has been seen by the Pentagon as the Russian way to apprehend its realm of influence including Georgia with the regional cluster of Belarus, Ukraine, the Caucasus and the Caspian, which are close to Russian territory. It has been a very fiercely display of Russian objection against the western support to Georgia of the eventual membership to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). The ongoing situation has created panic in the mind of the other European countries, resulting to keep Georgia away to avoid military confrontation in the region (GORDON, 2008).

Using the world view evident, the conflict issue has come under a media shroud evoking the status of Cold War. But to be judgmental, it needs to be clear that of which lobby the reports are allied with, Moscow or Washington. Covered with diplomacy, it is difficult to state from a world view what the polarity of the spin of the story is. As per NBC Nightly News, the Russian war machines are retaliating in an unsaid way for the reasons made them tick.

Georgia the post soviet state threw the Dias, pampered by the west; to move in to the pro Russian breakaway with the U. S. trained Georgian army to take back the region that belongs to Georgia by law, as the nation said. But the plan failed with detrimental damages. Where, after numerous killings, Georgia is on count down for the stopping of Russian machine, the influenced reports of the U. S. media have given a different shape to the conflict. The facts are, South Ossetia is independent of Georgia since the breakup of USSR.

But Russian forces were present in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia since early 1990s protecting the area from the separatist, ultimately removing the proxy nature with a full scale outburst. The Russian concern was clear at its standpoint, where the Georgian society going western rapidly making itself the western nation at the eastern front. Russia can not rule out this as a threat (Lieven, 2008). All those proactive advocates to the U. S. for its intervention to other sovereign countries have vanished in case of punishing Russia for violating Georgian sovereignty.

A deep rooted reason is lying on the war fields of Iraq where Russia has supported with troops and tanks through international border, and also Georgian participation in violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. This is a cluster of elements that separates the story as per the target audience, use of bias framing in language, political opposition and the movements on the military and armed group. And due to the bottleneck situation of these elements, the U. S. can not poke its nose with the conflict for the presence of sure contradictions (FAIR, 2008).

According to the Pew Research Centre, coverage of the conflict has taken the market by storm; as per the readership and circulation report, which did not, happened in case of the presidential pole news. The 26% of the over all coverage has taken to address the conflict in Caucasus that provoked the account of the Cold War. Accounting a 14% of campaign, covering the election storyline with the candidate’s view, it is mainly gaining the political or rather diplomatic equation on the situation. Comparing Obama with McCain, former has made more comments and been studied and compared 63% whereas the later made 50% for him.

It appears strongly the involvement of the interest group, which is mainly projecting the required data that satisfies its need including an additional issue of its target audience, which is not so distinct generally, but the existence of the unsaid issue has a strong hold in the coverage. But, as a mater of fact; source like this can easily destroy the flow of the story and creates hindrances to reach for a conclusion (Journalism. Org, 2008). As Human Rights Watch reports, it has given an extreme stress on the issue that the conflict between the nations is including the non-combating civilians too.

It has urged that all actions should be taken to stop the civilian causalities. All the sides should impose a ban on this hostile practice of attacking indiscriminately. It has reminded the involved groups that their action can lead the agenda to the violation of the humanitarian law and even stated the charge of war crimes. In its statement, South Ossetia authorities claimed the use of advanced artilleries by the Georgian forces which were targeted in the civilian area of Tskhinvali making dozens of buildings a heap of ruins including the university, the hospital, a shopping center, schools, and several government buildings.

The source is making its position in shaping the story very clear that its primary concern is the safety of then civilian and the protection of the humanitarian laws. The target audience quite clear, which can be the diplomats and can also be the NGOs and critics. It is not concern about how the whole thing will come to a stop, but has specific concern of a particular population. And the more the war will stretch, more it will create pressure at the International level to it as the worldview evident. The story has eventually taken a bend in its way.

It has shown the Russian reaction in the international arena where Russia did not challenge any of the armed group or any militia, but America’s authority over the world, making jock out of its leadership and revealing the unpleasant double standard image of the U. S.. To answer the Russian move, it has referred a confidential call between Russian Foreign Minister and U. S. Secretary of State, where it considers Russian Foreign Minister’s comment on going of Georgian President. To analyse the report is full of negative spine and is a total political blame game.

In contrary, Russian politics has been described as something tough, rough and pre-internet style. What it wanted to say is that the American way of ignoring the role of the international organisation by its pre-defined double standard policies, like human rights with democracy can not influence powers like China and Russia for taking the same steps. It has been rated that due to this trend for last 8 years the moral authority of U. S. has been undermined and the continuation of this foreign policy has brought humiliation, failure and mistrust over America.

Thus, in this part, the report analyses the other side of the conflict, rather the story behind the screen (Memarian, 2008). The country is involved in this kind of criticism due to its double standard in framing of language in the international organisations. The call of regime change and its confrontation with Russia has been the naked truth in United Nation. Reporting can give a shape to this kind of controversies, as in the recent time the Medias are quite hyped up about the ‘impending war’. Pointing the phrase, questions have come up on the permeation of this culture and the objectivity of the stories.

No neutral reporting would knowingly stand expression like this or like, ‘imminent war’ being individualistic, where more accurate expression like ‘potential war’ could taken the actual place. One more slip in the daily journalism. Choosing the term ‘possible war’ or ‘conflict’ have narrow down the hasty use of language by writing what we know, but not what will happen. As in conflict, the kind of action is not known anyone. In contrary the issue of foreign policies has given different understanding and shaped it time to time.

The culture is placing the concept of the free press under the influence of the interest groups (Elder, 2003). As Chris Cramer, president of CNN international networks described that we are concerned about all the aspects of the story and its reporting. Bur it is seldom we ask for the whereabouts of the war reporters, getting killed in the field. It must be remembered that they are the main sources of the war footage and the real life situation of the actual site. In that regard questions are hovering around the scale of safety they are getting in delivering their promises.

From military organisation there has been talks about giving the journalists ranks and honorary posts, in case of safety, agency like CNN has decided to provide their staffs with the safety armaments. But the idea could not work out as this was making the reporters more prominent and meant to be killed. As it is about the, when journalists were meant to be of sacred profession and not be harmed, for today’s philosophy says to kill them in the line of duty than the members of the armed forces. This will be a tactic to cut the communication line to get a grip on the position (The Guardian, 2003).

Due to high voltage diplomatic drama, reports often suffer the negative spin. Same happened when the U. S. helicopters launched missile attacks and killed 17 al-Qaeda men trying to infiltrate the village of al-khalis during the operation Arrowhead Ripper. But as per the villagers those killed had nothing to do with al-Qaeda. This indicates the problems media faces in collecting combat report in remote areas (Muir, 2007).


BBC NEWS (2008). Russian jets attack Georgian town. Aftermath of the air strikes in Gori. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://news. bbc. co. uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/7550804. stm Elder, R. K. (2003). Seeking neutrality in the media’s war of words. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6, 2008, from https://listserv. temple. edu/cgi-bin/wa? A2=ind0302&L=btmm_grad&O=A&P=7436 Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) (2008). Georgia/Russia Conflict Forced Into Cold War Frame. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://www. fair. org/index. php? page=3596 GORDON, M. R. (2008). Pledging to Leave Georgia, Russia Tightens Its Grip. The New York Times. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://www. nytimes. com/2008/08/18/world/europe/18georgia. html HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (2008). Georgia/Russia: Do Not Attack Civilians in South Ossetia.

Retrieved November 6, 2008, from http://hrw. org/english/docs/2008/08/08/georgi19575. htm Journalism. Org (2008). War in Georgia is Bigger News than the Campaign. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from http://journalism. org/print/12406 Lieven, A. (2008). Analysis: roots of the conflict between Georgia, South Ossetia and Russia. The Times. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from http://www. timesonline. co. uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4498709. ece Muir, J. (2007). Village disputes story of deadly attack. BBC NEWS. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from http://news. bbc. co. uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/6239896. stm Memarian, O. (2008).

Georgia-Russia Conflict: Moscow Challenges America’s Global and Regional Authority. HuffingtonPost. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from http://www. huffingtonpost. com/omid-memarian/georgia-russia-conflict-m_b_118702. html? view=screen The online news hour (2008). Georgia-Russia Crisis Deepens, Diplomats Rush to Urge Cease-fire. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from http://www. pbs. org/newshour/updates/europe/july-dec08/georgiarussia_08-11. html The Guardian (2003). Anger: media at work. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from http://www. guardian. co. uk/media/2003/feb/24/mondaymediasection. Iraqandthemedia2/print

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