Algerian Media’s Portrayal of Morocco, Secrets and Motives \ Newslooks \ The media assumes an indispensably pivotal role in the configuration of attitudes and perceptions within distinct speech communities. The official media apparatuses of Morocco and Algeria, in particular, exhibit divergent methodologies in their treatment of subjects pertaining to their respective political and diplomatic interrelations. The Moroccan official media evinces a conspicuous demarcation between the political framework and the people when engaging with issues concerning Algeria. Conversely, the Algerian media amalgamates both the Moroccan citizenry and the monarchical or governmental stratum. This dichotomy serves to underscore the ramifications that the use of media discourse can wield upon the Algerian populace’s dispositions vis-à-vis Moroccan cultural, political, and societal constructs.
By virtue of employing preconceived mental frames, the Algerian press has earnestly endeavored to mold the cognitive apprehensions of its readership, thereby fostering an internalized citizenry that seldom cross-examines the authenticity of these cognitive constructs. Indeed, this intricate endeavor, called domestication in this article, could yield substantial influence upon the societal dialogue and the cognitive dispositions and convictions held by the Algerian people towards Morocco.
The concept of domestication finds its metaphorical analog in the process of subduing untamed animals. When transposed onto the human context, it denotes the cognizance and manipulation of individuals’ orientations vis-à-vis actions pertinent to information and communication technologies. Within the Algerian context, the paradigm of domestication has been established since the Cold War. Presently, the Algerian people are subject to a process of “re-domestication,” orchestrated through official media and social networks, aimed at harmonizing their dispositions with the national policy regarding Morocco. This endeavor entails the systematic molding of collective attitudes and perceptions, facilitated through the judicious curation of informational content and the employment of rhetoric imbued with persuasiveness. Operating within the theoretical framework of domestication, we endeavor to elucidate the modi operandi by which Algerian media apparatuses assimilate and intertwine insights regarding Morocco into the fabric of Algerian attitudes. Operationally, we explore the linguistic stratagems that lend themselves to the facilitation of domestication in the configuration of the local discourse.
The Algerian media machinery has been marshaled under the aegis of its military and political echelons, commandeering it as a weapon of conflict laden with invectives and aspersions, systematically harnessed in a belligerent stance against Morocco. This phenomenon distinctly manifests itself across both televised shows and official proclamations disseminated through press channels, which conspicuously exhibit their transmogrification into instruments of hostilities directed toward the Kingdom. It should be reckoned that the Algerian media landscape is distinguished by a profusion of periodicals offered in both Arabic and French languages, alongside state-controlled newspapers, that are under the control of the government, as elucidated by the U.S. Department of State. Notably, the realm of journalism in Algeria is ensnared within a stranglehold of manipulation and constraint, wherein practitioners face a confluence of subjugation, intimidation, and incarceration. Moreover, independent journalistic outlets grapple with an epoch of vicissitude, a confluence of political encumbrances and fiscal exigencies precipitating their precarious state.
Instances abound where Algerian television channels have propagated an assortment of unfounded assertions, conjectures, and fallacies, often predicated upon the utilization of ambiguous visuals or fabricated imagery extracted from other arenas of conflict that share analogous geographical characteristics. In an amplification of the reproachable nature of their approach, the Algerian media’s discourse concerning Morocco not only lacks the hallmarks of professionalism but also transgresses the boundaries of amicable fraternity, shared lineage, and collective destiny.
Through the subtle but potent mechanisms of priming and framing, public and private television channels resort to an array of terminologies, such as “occupation regime” and “Kingdom of prostitution,” in addition to deploying a litany of epithets and expressions. These linguistic maneuvers are strategically aimed at reinforcing and perpetuating antagonistic perceptions within the Algerian population. The premeditated use of these linguistic devices perpetuates the cultivation of a negative narrative, which further exacerbates the perceptual divide between the two nations.
Likewise, the prevailing inclination observed within the corpus of content generated by the Algerian Press Agency (APS) unequivocally signifies an intense preoccupation with a singular subject: that being the Kingdom of Morocco. This discernible behavior is starkly underscored by empirical data, wherein a substantial 66.3% of international articles disseminated by the APS pertain exclusively to issues concerning Morocco.
Indeed, the overarching discourse disseminated by the APS demonstrably aligns with the strategic objectives of the Algerian military-political leadership, which conspicuously endorse a narrative that advocates for disunion and instability in Morocco, particularly in relation to its territorial integrity. The content propagated by the APS is profoundly derogatory in its portrayal of the Moroccan Sahara, unambiguously conveying Algeria’s enduring allegiance to the cause of separatism, thereby perpetuating uncertainty and vulnerability within Morocco’s boundaries. In a logical analysis, the APS deliberately deploys a range of pejorative and offensive lexicon to systematically undermine Morocco’s efforts to assert its territorial integrity. These derogatory designations predominantly encompass descriptors such as the ‘arbitrary occupier’, ‘narcotics trafficker’, and ‘monarchy-induced economic hardships’, among others.
Apart from APS, the military-affiliated periodical, El Djeich, leverages metaphors and cognitive frameworks to advance the state’s political stratagem, casting Morocco as Algeria’s “foremost, western, neighboring, and archetypal adversary”. This military magazine operates as a tool to foment discord between Algerians and Moroccans through counterfeit narratives. This policy echoes in the magazine’s editorials, rallying internal unity against an external foe. Traces of this populist media discourse validate the prevailing political status while redirecting Algerian attention from genuine predicaments, exacerbated by governance deficits and an absent economic vision. The narratives within the army’s publication manifest as acrimonious and defamatory towards Morocco. These narratives risk vilifying Morocco, impeding overtures towards harmonious inter-country relations. Additionally, the cultivation of an “external enemy” conveniently diverts from internal quandaries, perpetuating authoritarian tendencies.
Eventually, the prevailing practices attributed to the Algerian media reveal a disconcerting deficiency in impartiality and objectivity. The proliferation of hate speech within the Algerian media is a palpable threat to democratic values, social equilibrium, and peace, necessitating resolute confrontation and redress to prevent conflict and violence. The flow of orchestrated misinformation, compounded by the use of hate speech, not only contravenes the ethics of journalism but also undermines the potential for fostering constructive dialogue and mutual comprehension among the two countries.
It is imperative to acknowledge that the challenge that Algeria faces is not directed against Morocco or its citizens, but rather revolves around the escalating cost of living. To genuinely serve the Algerian people while upholding professional and ethical standards, the Algerian media would find greater utility in spotlighting this survival-driven battle.
Concurrently, Morocco persists in improving the well-being of its people, including those inhabiting the Saharan provinces, despite enduring disparagement with Algeria. The Moroccan Sahara continues to thrive under conditions of stability, security, and advancement, standing in stark contrast to the unconstructive portrayal propagated through prefabricated discourse in the Algerian media conglomerates.
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