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  • Aurora KARAMETI

Reporting Environmental Pollution:

Dernière mise à jour : 23 déc. 2020

Media and Public Discourse vs. Political Discourse in the Republic of Macedonia


This paper analyses the news media discourse about the issue of air pollution in the western part of Macedonia caused by Jugohrom Ferroalloys, an old communist-epoch factory for chromium products and ferroalloys. It focuses on news reports made by the only bilingual national television Alsat-M during the last seven months over this environmental issue which became a salient public discourse topic and was followed by massive protests. They ask the government to take urgent relevant measures concerning this major air polluter which does not meet the ecological standards but benefits from a strong political support. The goal of this paper is to inquire the correlation between media discourse and public discourse versus political discourse in an unusual context. The context includes political, ethnic and media freedom aspects. The main objectives of this paper are to provide evidence of the mission of news media to drive public opinion in countries with low media freedom, low level of democracy and an ethnically divided audience, as well as to highlight the low impact that media and public discourse have on policy making in authoritarian political systems implicating ethnicity. The chosen for this deliberation is complex. The Agenda-setting and the Framing theories couples with the content analysis and discourse analysis methods, are used to inquire news coverage of this topic by Alsat-M. The results of the analysis give clear answers to the research question. They are interpreted by means of a historical approach in order to draw conclusions about the role of the news media in Macedonia. The main conclusion is that news media may act as a social factor for awakening social movements and promoting progressive social change even in inconvenient circumstances such as in ethnically divided countries. More

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