Framing a War and a People: A Mixed Methods Study of Portrayals of Iraqi Violence
Dittmer, Jacob Peter
This study examines how the news media and U.S. officials within the Bush administration utilized rhetoric and specific words over others to frame the violence and civil unrest in Iraq following the U.S. invasion. This study incorporates a mixed methods approach to framing analysis. It seeks to advance framing research into the role of the media in presenting dominant frames set forth by powerful political elites. By examining Department of Defense news briefings, this study critiques the officials' framing of the violence and unrest in Iraq. Likewise, through a content analysis of two newspapers' coverage of the Iraq War, it examines the frequency of certain key terms as it attempts to locate the emergence of dominant rhetorical frames, particularly "insurgency." Results reveal that officials framed Iraq's insurgency as part of the war on terror and the insurgency frame emerged in print during the periods of study.