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Title: Framing The (Mis)Encounter: Analyzing the News Coverage of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and The Manila Times on the Mamasapano Clash

Abstract: An unexpected encounter, which claimed 67 lives – 44 of whom are police officers, 18 MILF and 5 BIFF members – along with several civilian injuries, between SAF troopers pursuing a terrorist duo and alleged combined forces of MILF and BIFF has potentially derailed a long drawn peace process between the MILF and GRP. The question whether the media has played a role in this massive outrage on the now dubbed “Mamasapano encounter” has been raised. This thesis examined how newspapers like Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), Philippine Star (Philstar), Manila Times (MT) packaged their news coverage on the Mamasapano clash and its offshoot developments. This study utilized an integrated framework based on Entman’s Framing Theory, and Galtung’s War and Peace Journalism Frame. Research was conducted using content analysis on all newspaper issues by PDI, Philstar and MT from January 26 until March 7, 2015. Follow-up interviews with experts from the academe, a governor and a lawmaker to understand the implications of such news coverage to peace developments in Mindanao supplemented the content analysis. Researchers found that for the coverage of the clash itself, the dominant framing used was war journali¬sm framing. However, peace journalism was the dominant framing for the rest of the coverage. The media’s use of peace journalism reflected calls for truth, accountability and peace. It also thrust the BBL into limelight. This created an opportunity to scrutinize the proposed legislation to legislate a better law that would uphold the coveted peace in Mindanao.

Keywords: Conflict Journalism, Peace Journalism, War Journalism, Bangsamoro Basic Law, Mamasapano Clash, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Manila Times, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

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