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Politics, Media And War Coverage: An Indexed Relation?

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Chapter Summary

The notion of asymmetrical conflict is broad enough to include different kinds of warfare, and may be shorthand for conflicts other than traditional ones. Some scholars dedicate their careers to the analysis of the relations between actors (politicians, media and public opinion) on foreign affairs issues. This chapter presents a summary of these scholars research followed by an empirical analysis of the behaviour of the Spanish press regarding political speeches during two very different conflicts: NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during 1999, and the conflict over Iraq in 2003. The chapter shows how information is shaped during conflicts depends on multiple factors: political agreement, the messages congruence, and the international context in which it is transmitted. It demonstrates that information in the form of raw material has little impact on public opinion since the media always frame their coverage.

Keywords: Iraq; media; NATO; politicians



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