Barack Obama

Perceptions of the U.S; Nobel Peace Prize award

Any causes and effects?

In Journalism, correlations and linkages between issues and outcomes are always a point of contention. This also applies to theories and concepts relating to mass communications and their related translation into issues and policy agendas.

In the lead up to the November 2008 U.S presidential elections, an article I wrote for the Denver Urban Spectrum newspaper, Global Attitudes Shift About Prospect Of New President, carried the following information:

“With foreign support for the United States having plunged to its lowest point right after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the 2008 Pew attitudes survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Global Attitudes Project, revealed a slight improvement of U.S. image abroad.

The main reason for the improvement, the survey shows, is the attention the U.S. presidential election is getting from countries around the world. Compared to previous years, the U.S. favorability rating moved up slightly among the nations surveyed. The biggest improvements were seen in Tanzania (19 percent), South Korea (12 percent), and Poland (7 percent), while the worst ratings are in Mexico (-9 percent) and Japan (-11 percent).”

As if to support some of the arguments of the 2008 Pew Global Attitudes Project, Media Tenor, which specializes in media agenda-setting research, said the following immediately following the news of Presidents Obama’s winning of the Nobel Peace prize:

“Barack Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was based on “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”. Media Tenor’s analysis of President Obama’s image on foreign policy shows that this is truly the case when it comes to Obama’s image in world media markets – but with one big exception – inside the US.”

The article continued:

“Obama’s greatest strength in foreign media, is exactly the same strength which led the Nobel Prize committee to its decision – foreign affairs. In Middle Eastern, African and Western European media markets Obama’s image is driven by between 40-65% of all volume on issues relating to foreign policy with correspondingly high ratings for the president in those media markets”

A strong or subtle call to action?
In awarding the Peace Prize to Obama, was this a strong call to action on many of the issues he has raised before and after he assumed the U.S presidency, or was this a rather subtle call to action instead?


Leave a Reply