Media propaganda and human rights issues: What can be learnt from the former Yugoslavia’s experience in relation to the current developments in the Arab Spring countries? | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1751-9411
  • E-ISSN: 1751-942X



Recent history has proven that media propaganda can impact severely on human rights issues. This article aims at exploring what can be learnt from previous lessons in order to avoid the same mistakes happening again and/or to fight them more ­efficiently. It questions the experience of the former Yugoslavia in relation to the current developments in the Arab Spring countries. The propaganda theory is applied for an analysis of how the media were instrumentalized for political and nationalist goals under Milosevic’s regime. Through content discourse analysis, the techniques of media propaganda are described and analysed, and consequences are drawn. Although the situation varies from one case to another, widespread hate propaganda speeches in some Arab countries is a challenge to a successful political transition. This has been the case in Tunisia after the 2011 Revolution, where hatred messages have been widely spread by broadcast media and social networks. Propaganda theory has thus been applied to the specific case of broadcast television. The study shows that, contrary to some other countries, Tunisian society has its own peculiarities, and that it has succeeded in developing brakes that have reduced the scope and impact of propaganda messages of some extremist media. In view of past experiences, such as the former Yugoslavia or Rwanda, and in this context, this article also aims to demonstrate the full importance of the existence of quality public service media in the Tunisian case, and of an independent regulation of both traditional and social media. In its conclusion, this article also raises the question of social media regulation, which is all the more acute given that Tunisia is immersed in an environment where more and more hate content and stigmatization messages are developing.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): hate; manipulation; propaganda; regulation; Tunisia; Yugoslavia
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