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British news media, war and theory in the 2003 invasion of Iraq

This book analyses British news media coverage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It describes the analytical framework that serves as the basis for theoretically informed and systematic analysis of wartime media performance. The book synthesises a range of models, hypotheses and explanatory variables to set out a framework composed of three models of news media performance: the elite-driven model, the independent model and the oppositional model. It provides three case studies which, in different ways, illuminate each model of news media performance in wartime. The three case studies include the case of Jessica Lynch, the case of Ali Abbas and the case of the anti-war movement. The book then presents an account of how the relationship between foreign policy, news media and war might be expected to operate, based on current theoretical understanding. In order to place British coverage of the invasion in context, the book offers brief summaries of the structure and character of Britain's television news services and its press. The book provides an analysis of the ways in which the news media's visual depictions of the war reinforced supportive coverage. It is devoted to documenting and analysing evidence for negotiated and oppositional coverage. The book also examines the representation of civilian casualties, military casualties and humanitarian operations across both television and press, three subject areas that generated a good deal of media criticism.

Piers Robinson, Peter Goddard, Katy Parry, Craig Murray, and Philip M. Taylor

3 Theorising and analysing media performance in wartime There are two principal objectives to this chapter. In order to move beyond purely empirical analysis, the first is to describe the analytical framework that serves as the basis for our theoretically informed and systematic analysis of wartime media performance. Building initially on existing work by Hallin (1986) and Wolfsfeld (1997), the first half of this chapter synthesises a range of models, hypotheses and explanatory variables, drawn from across the literature, in order to set out a framework

in Pockets of resistance
Abstract only
Piers Robinson, Peter Goddard, Katy Parry, Craig Murray, and Philip M. Taylor

hypotheses from across the field of political communication, we aim to overcome these limitations. The framework sets out three models of wartime media performance: the elite-driven model, in which news media coverage is hypothesised to be supportive of government war aims; the independent model, where news media remain balanced towards events and produce negotiated coverage; and the oppositional model whereby news media offer a profound challenge to the legitimacy and conduct of a conflict and generate oppositional coverage. We explain these models further in Chapter 3

in Pockets of resistance
The news media and war from Vietnam to Iraq
Piers Robinson, Peter Goddard, Katy Parry, Craig Murray, and Philip M. Taylor

; GUMG, 1985) or have focused on quantitative manifest-level content analysis at the expense of a more detailed and qualitative assessment of the tone and framing of news reports (Morrison, 1992). As explanations of wartime media performance, a variety of factors are put forward: Only Hallin cites cold war ideology, while Bennett and Paletz, GUMG and Hallin all argue for the importance the news media’s reliance upon official sources. In addition, GUMG and Bennett and Paletz identify the importance of patriotism. The 2003 invasion of Iraq A number of published studies

in Pockets of resistance