Title

Media Focus in Afghanistan News Coverage

Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Journalism

Advisor

Hoyt H. Purvis

Committee Member

Kasey L. Walker

Second Committee Member

Ignatius Fosu

Abstract

This study explored the Media Focus in Afghanistan News Coverage to examine what categories of Afghanistan-related news received the largest amount of coverage during periods from 2010 to 2012. This study covered reports in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Daily Outlook Afghanistan, a national Afghan news outlet, as a sample within a period of three months over three years (June 2010, July 2011, and August 2012). The 147 news stories' headlines of the four news organizations were studied to find what categories (process: peace talks, negotiation, and economic development; conflict: violence and military action; and politics and policy: USA, Afghanistan, and NATO) received the most coverage on Afghanistan. The purpose of this study was to examine focal points in media coverage on Afghanistan. The findings of the study indicated that the category of politics and policy, received the highest media coverage with 55% both at the U.S.-based news organizations, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today, and also the Afghan paper, Daily Outlook Afghanistan, while the other two categories including process: peace talks, negotiation, and economic development with 22% and conflict: violence and military with 23% of the news coverage. Although peace talks and negotiation in Afghanistan have been extensively discussed by the Afghan government, the international community, and particularly by the U.S. government, the media did not cover them that much. In fact, media coverage on this subject (negotiation and peace talks, and economic development) is considered very critical to Afghanistan, and the more positive frame and frequent coverage the better effect it will have on the issues.

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