Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Communications (M.S.)

Department

School of Communications

Abstract

This study is a re-examination of Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman’s “Propaganda Model”, which hypothesizes that the market-driven, institutionalized filters determine the way in which the “agenda-setting” media in the United States cover and portray news. Further, the theory posits that these filters will reinforce the modes of control for the dominant elites in power. This evaluation concentrates on the treatment of so-called “worthy and unworthy victims” and relies on a content analysis of news coverage of the massacres occurring simultaneously in Kosovo and East Timor in 1999. In line with the “Propaganda Model,” the analysis showed that the volume of reporting on acts of violence increased when the perpetrators are affiliated with an “enemy” state and, conversely, decreased when the perpetrators are supported by the United States government. Analysis on whether political motivations affected the quality of analysis was inconclusive.

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