DEPICTING THE OTHER: IRANIAN AND AMERICAN MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE 2014 GAZA WAR
Homayoun Nikou, Aida
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In delivering news worldwide, mass media uses narrative techniques to create unique themes of interest. The frames used by mass media are vital in organizing concepts that are also in line with hegemonic political interests and utilize dichotomous logic in the construction of an ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’ narrative. Drawing on frame analysis, this study analyzes the framing of the 2014 Gaza War coverage in two U.S. and Iranian newspapers. My findings suggest that two distinctive discourses emerge from the two media samples. The United States’ news media mirrors the official Israeli narrative of the events and chooses to highlight Palestinian violence as the cause of a perilous relationship between Israel and Palestine. Whereas, the major narrative themes presented within the Iranian news sample were voiced by Palestinian officials and had a strong identification with and sympathy towards Palestinians centering the source of aggression between Israel and Palestine with the Israeli government. Findings also show how the news outlets in my study support the foreign policy initiatives of both Iran and the United States. Thus this study broadens our scope of understanding on the ongoing relationship between Israel and Palestine as viewed by the United States and Iran. In regards to the United States this thesis contributes to other academic knowledge by showing a consistent media portrayal of Israel and Palestine that favors the United States’ foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East. For Iran this study provides insight into a Middle East actor that is oftentimes overlooked in other academic studies of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.