NU-Q professor contributes to new book on media coverage of Trump administration

Doha: Northwestern Qatar Professor Banu Akdenizli is among 30 media and communication scholars who contributed to a new book on international perceptions and media coverage of US politics during the Trump administration. 

Global Media Perceptions of the United States: The Trump Effect, provides perspectives on how media in different countries reported on the US government’s foreign policy and how the coverage shaped the general public’s opinion. It was edited by Yahya R. Kamalipour, professor of media and communication at North Carolina A&T State University.

The book includes chapters from countries around the world including Australia, China, Colombia, Egypt, England, Germany, Greece, Iran, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Turkey, and Russia.  

In a chapter on Turkey – Long Time Allies No More? How News Media in Turkey Covered the USA in 2019 – Akdenizli, along with her co-authors, Burak Özçetin, and Nazlı Çetin Gündoğdu, addressed how the dynamics of the alliance between Turkey and the US transformed significantly during the Trump administration. 

“As long times allies, and now increasingly foes, Turkey and the USA’s relationship is and continues to be marked by ups and downs,” Akdenizli explained. “Syria, Northern Iraq, tensions with Russia, Iran, Kurdish and Armenian issues, as well as global trade are some of the issues that have from time to time put pressure on the rapport of these two countries. No more soft power, all about hard power in diplomacy.”

To conduct their research, Akdenizli, an expert on Turkish media and politics, and her colleagues analysed news articles on US-focused stories from five prominent Turkish newspapers that represent the political, ideological, and structural diversity of the Turkish press: Cumhuriyet, Hürriyet, Sabah, Yeni Akit, and Yeni Şafak. 

Their findings suggest that political stories about the US are constantly present in Turkish mainstream media due to the diplomatic relations and political tensions between the two countries. 
However, the tonality of the coverage varied depending on the topic and publication’s religious and political affiliations. 

“Some stories carried a very negative sentiment across the board,” said Akdenizli, “this is especially true about the articles on the USA’s relationship with the YPG (People’s Protection Units), which is the mainly-Kurdish militia in Syria and a big component of the Syrian Democratic Forces.” 

Other contributors included Noam Chomsky, laureate professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona and institute professor emeritus at MIT, who provided the US context. In America and the World: The Plight of Organized Human Life, Chomsky explained how the Trump administration reversed and dismantled policies related to climate change and the economy that could be detrimental to human life worldwide.