Syria in the Mirror: Discourse Analysis of the Media Definitions of the Syrian Conflict


  • Marisa Della Gatta Macquarie University


In the representation of the events in Syria since the uprising of 2011, the conflict has been given different appellatives by the media. From “Syrian long winter”, openly in contrast with the media-invented term “Arab Spring”, to “Syria’s holy war”, different definitions have been used. In this article, I apply Critical Discourse Analysis’s principles in analyzing the expressions used to define the Syrian crisis. I take into account news articles containing explicit definitions of the conflict (published by both Arab and English media outlets in 2011; before then the presence of foreign journalists in Syria was prohibited). I argue that the media’s use of language to report the situation in Syria represents a process of intentional creation of “confusion and disillusion”. By assuming the “reflective tool” about the relationship between the facts, the representation of them, and the impact on the audience, I further claim that the coverage of the Syrian situation influences and limits the understanding of them by increasing the perception of chaos.

Author Biography

Marisa Della Gatta, Macquarie University

(BA Hons Cultural and Media Studies; MA Research in International Cooperation – University of Bari, Italy). Marisa is a PhD Candidate of Macquarie University in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Arts. Her project is about identity and ethnic politics in Syria and Syrian diaspora.


How to Cite

Della Gatta, M. (2016). Syria in the Mirror: Discourse Analysis of the Media Definitions of the Syrian Conflict. Humanity, 27–44. Retrieved from