[ Back ]


Die Darstellung der Tuareg-Rebellionen in Mali in lokalen und in deutschsprachigen Medien: eine interkulturelle, text- und diskurslinguistische Medienanalyse anhand ausgewählter Zeitungsartikel

Author Djouroukoro DIALLO
Director of thesis Prof. Dr. Ernest W.B. Hess-Lüttich
Co-director of thesis Prof. Dr. Martin Reisigl
Summary of thesis



Title: „The representation of Tuareg rebellions in Mali in local and German-speaking newspapers: an intercultural, text and discourse analysis of media”


Since gaining its independence from France in 1960, the West African country Mali has faced several rebellions in its northern part. These rebellions are called by the media the Tuareg rebellions because they have been led by people claiming to fight for the rights of a small minority residing in the northern part of the country. The rebellion of 2012 in this region has gained the most interest in the media.

This interest, I would say, does not arise from this rebellion itself, but much more from the consequences it caused such as the participation of Islamic extremist groups linked to Al Qaeda in the Maghreb Islamic (AQMI). These groups introduced sharia in this region and had forbidden every form of freedom. They also destroyed some cultural sites like the mausoleums of Timbouctou and burned some manuscripts in the same town. These cultural artifacts are classified as world cultural heritage by the UNESCO. In this context, the military intervention of France has focused the interest of the mass media on this country.

This project argues that the mass media in their comments simplify and polarize the conflict in the northern part of Mali. Simplifications based on geographic differences like “north vs. south”, races like “white vs. black”, and/or social groups “nomads vs. farmers” are commonly used to describe the main characteristics of this conflict. It has also been understood as an ethnical war as it might be the case in many situations in Africa. This paper also argues that the mass media do not elicit the real origins of these rebellions. And thus, they do not contribute to the resolution of this conflict.

This project will investigate the way the Malian and German-speaking newspapers describe and represent the Tuareg rebellions in this country. First, the project will focus on the mechanisms of constructing the discourse of the newspapers about this conflict. For this reason, the project will undertake a historical contextualization of the different rebellions in order to demonstrate their main reasons. Second, it will show the main differences in the discourses of Malian and German-speaking newspapers.

As guidelines, the research relies on the following two questions: How have German- speaking and Malian newspapers been representing the phenomenon of Tuareg rebellions in Mali in the last 50 years? What are the typical mechanisms of constructing the discourse about the Tuareg rebellions in these media?


Administrative delay for the defence 2017