Title

The World at War: Three and a Half Decades of New York Times Conflict Coverage

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2020

Abstract

This quantitative content analysis uses 36 years of New York Times international news to understand how conflict coverage is presented to audiences in terms of quantity and geographic focus, whether conflict is covered because of its linkage to US interests, and whether the Times relies on its own personnel for first-hand coverage. Additionally, a contemporary history approach gauges how representative coverage is of conflicts in varying regions. Quantitative data reveal an imbalance in coverage; stories about low-income nations focused more on conflict and were more likely to link events to US interests. However, the volume of coverage of these countries was minimal and arguably failed to report some of the most severe internal crises in those nations. According to social construction of reality theorists, this imbalance and distortion can lead to audience perception that more conflict occurs in low-income nations than in other, more developed parts of the world.

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