Why Do Americans Care? The New York Times and the Coverage of the Media Campaign “Bring Back Our Girls”

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Abstract

The media campaign “Bring back our girls” was initiated on April 2014,
after the kidnapping of around 234 Nigerian girls by the ‘subversive’
group Boko Haram in the northern region of the country. The outreach
of the campaign has been worldwide, but has had a greater impact in the
United States. As part of the media campaign in social media like Twitter
and Facebook, public figures as the First Lady, Michelle Obama, have
expressed their concern for the abducted girls and claimed for immediate
action from the Nigerian government. Indeed, the participation of such
personalities has increased the attention given to the situation in Nigeria.
Particularly, it is the interest of this essay to explore how the coverage
of the media campaign “Bring back our girls” made by The New York
Times (NYT) is framed under the metaphor savages-victims-saviours. In
order to answer this question this essay is divided into five sections.
First, an overview of the NYT as one of the most important media in
the United States is presented. Second, the context of the kidnapping of
the girls in Nigeria, the activities of Boko Haram and the media campaign are briefly outlined. Third, the media analysis tools to be used as
well as the conceptual framework that informs the essay are described.
Likewise, this section includes the sources for the collection of data.
Fourth, by using media analysis tools the content of the selected articles
is revised. Finally, a section of conclusions is provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPERSPECTIVES IN DEVELOPMENT An Exercise in Worldmaking
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Chapter9
Pages105-117
ISBN (Print)978-94-91478-29-1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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