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A Comparison Of The 1991 Gulf War

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In order to facilitate the discussion of newspapers’ framing of the recent US military strike in Syria, it is necessary to look at similar foreign policy event - news coverage of the 1991 Gulf War - that serves as a reference to compare the news frames in both stories. To the contrary of Ivengar’s findings, according to which television news coverage of the Gulf War of 1991 was heavily episodic oriented (more than 75 percentage), the study in this paper has found that more than half of the examined newspaper articles (56 percent in The New York Times and 59 percent in the USA Today) about the US military strike in Syria consist of a thematic frame.
There are several possible explanations for the difference in the news framing of two
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Given these circumstances, television news outlets were unable to produce war footage and broadcast them in their 24-hours news cycles while print journalists have to relied even more on thematic framing in their coverage.
Thirdly and related to former point, the two US military interventions differ in size, scope, form and length of time. While the military operation to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in 1991 consisted of extensive military preparations and the invasion of a foreign country, the missile strike against a Syrian regime airfield was a an operation of a few hours, using only unmanned cruise missile against a single target. As a result, there was simply not enough time to assign correspondents to the ground, who often tend frame events in wars episodically. More generally, perhaps due to the lack of access to the ground operations, journalists, particularly those working for newspaper, were able to cover this foreign policy event predominately thematic as opposed to the first Gulf War.
The difference in the media alone cannot account for the large number of thematic oriented articles in both newspapers about the US missile strike on Syria. Many articles extended their thematic coverage to topics such as the fight against ISIS, the complexity of shifting alliances within the fractured armed opposition in Syria and the involvement other states and actors
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