Accepted Paper:

National images of countries: Russia, UK and Iran in American press coverage  


Svetlana Kobzeva (Moscow Institute for African Studies)

Paper short abstract:

The results of the research presented in this paper elucidate the factors, which influence countries' global press coverage and promote an understanding of the creation of national images in American press coverage in the case of Russia, the UK and Iran.

Paper long abstract:

The study of the global press coverage organized by UNESCO in the 1980s and 1990s revealed the following trends in the global press coverage: a) the domination of the large and economically developed countries and the peripheralization of the smaller developing countries, especially of the African and the Pacific regions; b) the increasing dependence of the country images on the global press coverage.

This paper is primarily aimed at testing these hypotheses. The press coverage data for nine countries, including the US, China, Russia and Iraq from "News Factors in Global Press Coverage" project was compared to GDP per capita indicator. We observe a weak correlation between these two indicators. This analysis of the global press coverage reveals that the existing disparity between the countries on media coverage is not primarily associated with economic inequality, but it that the global media community is highly sensitive to authoritarian political regimes and crises or conflicts in political contexts.

The images of Russia, United Kingdom and Iran in the three influential US newspapers "The New York Times", "US Today", and "The Wall Street Journal" were explored with content-monitoring research techniques. We have found that the image of the Great Britain in the US newspapers was structurally different from both Russian and Iranian images, and it contains more terms on social and cultural life and less terms related to power and politics.

Panel W119
Anthropologists from abroad study mainstream American culture (MAC workshop I)