Western Press Coverage of Environmental Controversies in the Caucasus: Filling the News and Information Gap?
Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, content analysis, environment, news media, EurasiaNet, Institute for War & Peace Reporting
Environmental crises confront Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The implications of these crises cross sensitive and disputed national borders and may affect economic, political, and cultural relationships on a vast geographic scale. At the same time, the countries’ domestic press systems are subject to a range of legal, quasi-official, political, and economic constraints that discourage — and sometimes punish — or prevent aggressive but fair, balanced, and ethical news coverage of environmental controversies. This study uses content analysis of news stories and interviews with journalists to explore how two independent Western news organizations, US-based EurasiaNet.org and UK-based Institute for War & Peace Reporting, tried to fill the news and information void left by constraints on domestic media during a three-year period. Among the variables analyzed are news sources (experts, advocates, and non-experts), fairness and balance, and article topics.
Caucasus Journal of Social Sciences