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Recognition of Genocide in Bosnia: Frameworks of Interpretation in U.S. Newspapers

Human Rights and Media

ISBN: 978-0-76230-052-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-695-3

Publication date: 14 October 2011


The breakup of Yugoslavia and the development of conflict and massacres from 1991 to 1993 was widely reported in the West, in contrast with prior patterns of denial, concealment of evidence, lack of recognition, misperception, and avoidance of massacres and genocides since World War II. The chapter addresses reasons why bystanders did not intervene to stop the genocide and check war crimes by asking how the situation was framed by an influential segment of the press. An intensive content analysis in nine leading U.S. newspapers revealed that a majority of articles conformed to moral obligation and rational choice models. The study concludes with a critique of political will for action and the position that it was not the direct influence of the media, which reflected rather than refined perceptions and the recognition of genocide.


Fein, H., Ezell, W. and Spirer, H.F. (2011), "Recognition of Genocide in Bosnia: Frameworks of Interpretation in U.S. Newspapers", Papademas, D. (Ed.) Human Rights and Media (Studies in Communications, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 77-92.



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