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Creating Captain America: a Frame Analysis of the Pat Tillman Epic

Description: Pat Tillman—an Arizona Cardinals player who sacrificed everything to serve his country but died in Afghanistan—was initially touted as a true American hero who was killed by enemy fire. In reality, however, the Tillman narrative was based on nothing but military propaganda. This research focused on how mainstream U.S. newspapers used news frames, overall story tone, and news sources before and after the official acknowledgement of the true cause of Tillman's death as fratricide. As hypothesized from C. Wright Mills' "lesser institutions," Antonio Gramsci's hegemony, and Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky's propaganda model, the newspapers generally decreased both direct and indirect references to news frames involving "lesser institutions" (e.g., NFL, Arizona State University) and ideological values (e.g., heroism, patriotism) after the revelation, but they were not critical of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars or the Bush administration at all. In addition, they increased their dependence on official sources and decreased family and friend sources after his cause of death was changed. The results as a whole indicate that in the Tillman saga, the revelation of his true cause of death introduced a significant disruption to the propaganda information system, causing news frames to decrease, but the third filter of the propaganda model—reliance on official sources—was strong enough to overcome that disruptive event and continue to protect the power elite.
Date: May 2013
Creator: DeWalt, Christina A. Childs
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding Indian and Pakistani Cultural Perspectives and Analyzing Us News Coverage of Mukhtar Mai and Jyoti Singh Pandey

Description: A foreign country's positive or negative image in the U.S. media can influence public attitudes toward that country. The way U.S. media covers sex crimes from countries like India and Pakistan has a direct effect on the global image of these countries. This qualitative content analysis examined the coverage of two rape victims, Jyoti Singh Pandey and Mukhtar Mai in two mainstream U.S. newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Frames identified in the study include cultural differences, nationality and male patriarchy. The results revealed that while U.S. media was sensitive to both victims, Indian culture was portrayed in a favorable light than Pakistani culture. This study recommends that reporters and newsrooms need to be sensitive in reporting foreign cultures and refrain from perpetuating cultural stereotypes through reporting. The study also recommends developing training and understanding methodology when covering sex crimes so that journalists are aware of the rape myths and narratives that trap them into unfair coverage.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Kark, Madiha
Partner: UNT Libraries