The study focuses on the Arabic desk of the French News Agency (APP) which is one of the main language desks of the international wire service that provides news in six languages. APP is the largest news provider in Arabic language to the media in the Middle East and North Africa.

Employing the techniques of a participant observation or ethnographic study, the work explores the constraints journalists face during the process of selecting, translating and editing the news.

Journalists were observed at work and questioned about their selections and

decisions, in addition to their views concerning the problems of objectivity and bias in the news. Focusing on news related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, word usage was evaluated through content analyses to explore differences in employing labeling, euphemistic, unfavorable or favorable words in different languages. Selective cases were exposed to highlight external and internal pressures that play a role in deciding what is newsworthy and what terminology to employ. It describes how pressures contribute to journalists adopting self censorship when dealing with sensitive issues. Personal interviews were conducted with editors

from AFP and other news organizations especially from the British and German wire services; Reuters and DP A Focusing on political news, the study investigates how journalists with different perceptions or coming from different cultural and ideological backgrounds behave in the same newsroom, how these differences interfere in news processing. It also explores what role the audience, here the subscribers of a wire service, play in framing the news.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Journalism & Mass Communication Department

Degree Name

MA in Journalism & Mass Communication

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Ralph Berenger

Committee Member 1

Ralph Berenger

Committee Member 2

Hussein Amin

Committee Member 3

Kevin Keenen

Document Type



135 leaves


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Call Number

Thesis 2003/59