Tjänar amerikansk media utrikespolitiska maktintressen? : En granskning av två amerikanska tidningars rapportering av statskuppen i Honduras sommaren 2009 ; Do the American mass media serve foreign policy power interests? : A scrutiny of two American newspapers´ coverage of the coup d'état in Hondur... (2010)
Repository: Karlstad University: Publications
Abstract Essay in Political Science, D-level, spring 2010. “Do the American mass media serve foreign policy interests? – A scrutiny of two American newspapers’ coverage of the coup d’état in Honduras in the summer of 2009”, Author: David Scott. Tutor: Anders Broman The bias of the American mass media has been widely discussed among scholars. Not only has this phenomenon caught the attention of political scientists, but also academics from other scientific fields. Two of the most known researchers of the American media are the linguist Noam Chomsky and the professor of Finance Edward Herman. They apply, on the American media, a so called “propaganda model” which claims that the media will serve the interests of the domestic power elites. One of the interests that the media try to satisfy is the foreign policy goals of the American state, which is to vilify enemy states and idealize client states. This thesis is applied on the American media coverage of the coup d’état that resulted in the ousting of leftist President Manuel Zelaya from the presidency in Honduras in 2009. In this case the model predicts that Zelaya will be vilified as an enemy and that the cause of the coup will be portrayed as legitimate. The essay studies, in the newspapers New York Times and Wall Street Journal, the portraiture of three aspects of the coup: the cause of the coup, the role of the military and the victims of violence and, finally, Zelaya as a president and the support to versus the resistance against his presidency. Through a textual analysis of the material, the essay concludes that there is a bias and that this means that the propaganda model can be verified. The bias consists of that the papers tend to legitimize the clients (the perpetrators of the coup) by portraying Zelaya as violator of the Honduran constitution and as a radical leftist aligned with Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez. The legitimization goes further through the toning down of the military’s role in the use of violence against demonstrators. Although this is the bias, it must be stressed that it is subtle and has been detected through an extensive interpretation of the material.