News coverage of the war on Iraq : how the war and the U.S. President were framed by the New York Times and the London Times

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Shih, Tsung-Jen

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This thesis compares news coverage of the war in Iraq in the New York Times and the London Times, and investigates the similarities and differences of story prominence, use of news frames, use of sources, and story tone toward President Bush. Employing content analysis, this thesis examined 385 news stories in the two newspapers from March 1 through June 1, 2003, when the war was at the center of the media’s attention. The findings show the British newspaper provided a more thorough view of the war than its American counterpart. However, both newspapers constructed most of their stories episodically and positioned readers as spectators, rather than participants. Moreover, the two newspapers depended much on government sources, which means journalists were constrained to official channels. Finally, both newspapers provided a negative image of President Bush, suggesting a press/ president rivalry. Overall, although the two newspapers became friendlier towards the government after the war began, they maintained a liberal stance as they opposed to Republican policy


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