Framing “the Other” in Times of Conflicts: CNN’s Coverage of the 2003 Iraq War

Chaker Mhamdi

Abstract


This study is explored by a qualitative analysis of visual media practices in times of international conflicts. The analysis focuses on one of the leading sources of television news in the world, namely CNN, during its coverage of the 2003 Iraq War. Due to its national and international character and its popularity in coverage of war and international conflicts, CNN is thought of as a world leader in covering global conflicts. Accordingly, this research is directed toward the ways public perceptions were formed about particular ideas through CNN’s coverage. In order to develop an accurate sense of the programming that aired during the period under study, a qualitative content analysis was conducted in which a selected sample was selected and analyzed. This sample consisted of 20 CNN news stories during the first two months of the 2003 Iraq War. Relying on transcripts and videotapes of the key events of the first two months of the 2003 Iraq War CNN’ such as “Decapitation Strike”, “Shock and Awe”, Toppling of Saddam’s Statue and the bombing of Al Jazeera Office in Iraq, the qualitative analysis aims at discerning intonation, verbal and visual emphases and the subtle cues that are uniquely embedded in the visual medium. The analytical tool that is used to conduct the qualitative analysis of the selected sequences from CNN’s coverage of the 2003 Iraq War is grounded in framing analysis. The content and qualitative framing analysis of the selected sample of the CNN’s news stories about the 2003 Iraq War reveal that CNN echoed the American centered perspectives, aligning with the official war narrative supporting the war cause, and abiding by the U.S. military censorship measures.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2017.v8n2p147


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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