Gëzim Alpion, Albanian born and currently a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Birmingham, has a fascinating essay in the Albanian Journal of Politics entitled 'Western Media and the European “Other”: Images of Albania in the British Press in the New Millennium'. Here is the abstract for the essay:
Edward W. Said’s Orientalism invigorated as never before the debate on the biased representation of the Orient in the West. In the first part of the article, after highlighting the significance of Said’s work, the author then identifies some weaknesses and limitations of the Saidian approach arguing that, like the Near and the Middle East, other countries and regions around the world have an unsavoury image in the West as a result of an ongoing academic and media demonology. Concentrating on the coverage that the Balkans, especially Albania, have received in the West as from the start of the nineteenth century onwards, in the second part of the essay the author argues that the West has traditionally denigrated the European ‘other’ no less than the non-Europeans thus resulting in a cultural, historical and political fragmentation of the European continent which continues to have negative implications for Albania and the neighbouring countries as much as for the European Union. In the third part of the paper, through content-analysis of several articles that have appeared in the British press during the 2001-2005 period, the focus is on the disturbing tendency to denigrate the Albanian nation, a tendency which reveals a Euro-centric, post-imperial approach apparent in the Western media towards ‘estranged’ Europeans like the Albanians.
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