Media Narratives from the Margins: A Framing Analysis of Press Coverage of Conflict-Induced Violence in Indian State Assam

Media Narratives from the Margins: A Framing Analysis of Press Coverage of Conflict-Induced Violence in Indian State Assam

The northeastern state of Assam in India has witnessed long years of armed conflict waged by the ULFA and other militant outfits against the Indian state, and intermittent identity struggles by different ethnic groups and communities demanding greater autonomy and constitutionally guaranteed privileges. The 2000s political landscape of Assam saw several spectacular incidents of violence, of a scale and magnitude that attracted not only national, but also global media attention. This study examines the press coverage of three such spectacular conflictinduced violent events by four frontline English dailies, in order to draw definitive inferences about how the national and the regional press interpreted, constructed and presented these violent incidents in the country’s periphery, to their readers. The findings clearly establish the ways in which the press constructs issues from the nation’s margins in the way they define events, actors, causes and effects of violent political conflicts.