The Syrian private media and discourse of the development of the Syrian national economy
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In 2001, Syria opened its media outlets to private ownership for the first time in over forty years. This thesis conducts a critical discourse analysis of the economic coverage of the sole Syrian political daily newspaper al-Watan and asks how media liberalization in Syria is more so emblematic of pro-market economic reforms as opposed to media reform. In this sense, it is the economic content of al-Watan that signifies how a private media outlet – under the guiding force of “red lines” and other regulatory mechanisms, yet financially “liberated” via advertising revenue and wealthy regime-friendly backers – can demonstrate its utility to the regime by providing a reiteration of its social-market economic policies all the while existing as a public embodiment of the regime’s willingness to embrace a marketized Syrian society. Simply put, al-Watan is a perfect vehicle for propagating the regime’s gradualist pro-market reforms in the public sphere.
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