“Extreme Speech in Myanmar: The Role of State Media in the Rohingya Forced Migration Crisis”

homeHeaderLogoImage_en_USMy article about state media in Myanmar was published in a special issue of the International Journal of Communication about Extreme Speech and Global Digital Cultures. The complete issue can be accessed by visiting the International Journal of Communication.

You can access my article here.

Lee, R. 2019. “Extreme Speech in Myanmar: The Role of State Media in the Rohingya Forced Migration Crisis”. International Journal of Communication, 13(2019): 3203-3224.

Abstract: This article considers the role of the state authorities in perpetrating extreme speech and the processes by which state power is used in normalizing hateful expressions against minoritized communities. Drawing attention to Myanmar’s 2017 Rohingya crisis, a human rights and humanitarian catastrophe, the article examines how the state media publication, the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, has actively produced anti-Rohingya speech in its editions and influenced violent narratives about the Rohingya Muslims circulating on social media. It shows how official media contributed to a political environment where anti-Rohingya speech was made acceptable and where rights abuses against the group were excused. While regulators often consider the role of social media platforms like Facebook as conduits for the spread of extreme speech, this case study shows that extreme speech by state actors using state media ought to be similarly considered a major concern for scholarship and policy.