The BBC and Al Jazeera English: The Similarities and Differences in the Discourse of the Pre-Election Coverage of the 2009 Iranian Election

Mohd Faizal Kasmani


This article aims to understand to what extent the news-gathering factor explained global news coverage of the 2009 Iranian election. It examines the differences and similarities between the BBC and Al Jazeera English (AJE) pre-election coverage of the 2009 Iranian election, when all the international networks were relatively free to report on the Iranian street. It triangulates critical discourse analysis of the BBC and AJE news with the results of interviews with BBC reporters and editors who were involved in coverage of the election. The analysis reveals more similarities than differences in the pre-election coverage of the BBC and AJE. It concludes that shared occupational ideology among international journalists and the lack of access to the conservative group and the Iranian authorities contributed to the convergence of coverage of both networks during the pre-election period.


Iranian election, critical discourse analysis, global news, BBC, Al Jazeera

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