Different Stories: How the Newspapers in the United States, Britain and South Asia Covered the Iraq War

By Narasimhan Ravi

A paper by Narasimhan Ravi, spring 2004 fellow, argues that the Iraq war was an unequal conflict not just in terms of the overwhelming superiority of the American, British and other coalition forces, but also because much of the information was controlled by the coalition. This paper examines the press coverage of the Iraq war in the context of a model developed by Robert S. Entman, which suggests that a policy frame cascades down from the administration, and how effective it is in shaping press coverage depends on the policy agreement among the elite, the cultural resonance that the basic ideas, concepts and imagery find among the people, and how the events themselves shape out in reality. This paper compares coverage of the war in The New York Times, the Times of London, The Guardian, Dawn of Pakistan, and the Times of India to provide an assessment of the influential views that prevailed.

Download the paper (PDF).