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Bad news from Fallujah

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Florian Zollmann


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This study uses the thematic analysis developed by the Glasgow University Media Group to explore how the US, UK and German national press covered the US/Coalition assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in November 2004. The study relies on quantitative and qualitative full text content analyses to assess 428 news, editorial and commentary items. The article suggests that, while government and military officials of the US/Coalition had argued the military ‘operation’ was necessary to secure Iraq and defeat an ‘insurgency’, organisations and actors from Iraqi society refer to the ‘operation’ as ‘collective punishment’ and a ‘massacre’ that targeted the Iraqi population. The article investigates how the press represented each of these perspectives.The findings suggest that the press overemphasised the US/Coalition perspective despite striking counter evidence. Critical aspects of coverage largely focused on tactical elements of the military dimension of the event. The article concludes that such findings are in accord with hegemonic models of media performance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zollmann F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Media, War & Conflict

Year: 2015

Volume: 8

Issue: 3

Pages: 345-367

Print publication date: 07/12/2015

Online publication date: 12/05/2015

Acceptance date: 10/04/2015

ISSN (print): 1750-6352

ISSN (electronic): 1750-6360

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/1750635215585612


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