Failure to Launch: International Broadcasters as Counter-Hegemonic News

Christopher M. Toula


After the Cold War governments around the world reinvigorated or newly invested in 24-hour news channels such as Qatar’s Al-Jazeera English, China Central Television, Russia Today, and Germany’s Deutsche Welle. Distinct from domestic public service broadcasters, these international broadcasters are designed to reach foreign audiences to shift public opinion of the sponsoring state. Some scholars have argued these channels challenge the global hegemony of Anglo-American media, but this assertion has rarely been tested empirically. This article addresses this gap in the literature through a mixed-method analysis of four channels’ coverage of citizen protests. Findings indicate that no network operated as counter-hegemonic in its coverage, but that scholars should operationalize counter-hegemony explicitly if it is to be useful.


international broadcasting, counter-hegemony, contra-flow, public diplomacy, protest, state power

Full Text: