Interpreting Media Content Post-Conflict: Communications of 'Travel' and 'Bosnia and Herzegovina' in U.S. Newspapers, 20 Years Post-Dayton

Nicholas Wise

Abstract


This study looks at the role the media plays in how a destination is communicated over time post-conflict – by considering how discourses longitudinally brand a destination. Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was the centre of a violent conflict in the early 1990s. The war ended with the signing of the Dayton Agreement. Much of the conflict, and especially the siege of Sarajevo, was captured by the media. The representation of the Bosnian War established a negative imagination of the new country, resulting initially in a hesitancy to travel to a war-torn destination. This paper suggests place repression, fading memory and destination redefining as a framework to analyse media content and brand a post-conflict destination. In the years following the agreement, there was no discussion promoting travel to BiH. After 2000, travel was still advised against but the narrative began to change and promote the destination by discussing the past and present situation. Post- -2000 content reduced significantly but stories promoting travel increased after 2003 with more extended narratives promoting travel and new opportunities for branding the destination.

Keywords


media; travel; destination brand; image; Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096