Date of Award

8-11-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Marian Meyers

Second Advisor

Carrie Freeman

Third Advisor

Maria Repnikova

Abstract

This study examines the news coverage of Jammu and Kashmir conflict during the communication blackout of 2019. Using comparative analysis, it explores right-leaning, left-leaning and neutral newspapers to examine how political leanings affected the news coverage and asks whether the coverage challenges the actions by the central government amid limitations of press freedom in Jammu and Kashmir. The findings indicate the ideological leanings of the newspapers affected the news coverage during the communication blackout and the news overwhelmingly supported the central government’s nationalist ideologies and relied on government officials for information. However, a few stories, primarily in the left-leaning Hindu newspaper, represented the voices of the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and held the central government accountable. This study concludes that though the communication blackout severely restricted press freedom, it didn’t extinguish it entirely as journalists were able to represent diversity and voices of dissent.

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