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War of Words: Framing of the United States in Selected Belarusian Newspapers in 2009

Manayeva, Natalie
Committee Members: 
Dr. Dwight Teeter
December 2010

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the peculiarities of framing of the United States in selected Belarusian newspapers during first six months of the Obama administration. The concepts of anti-Americanism, authoritarian model of mass media and framing were chosen as a theoretical framework. This study was focused on the two main questions: first, what is the difference in how Belarusian state-run and independent newspapers frame the U.S., and second, what is the mechanism of creating negative image of the U.S. in Belarusian newspapers. In order to provide comprehensive answers to both questions the multi-method approach (involving methods of content and framing analysis) was chosen. As this study demonstrated, the state-run and independent newspapers present a very different image of the U.S.: state-run newspapers present the U.S. within a scope of strong negative frames. However, the picture in the independent newspapers is the opposite: out of four general frames three were positive and one was neutral-positive. The results of the content analysis showed that negative images of the United States do not necessarily have to be promoted through direct judgmental statements, but could rather be initiated by means of selecting certain negative facts for publication, often from unidentified sources. By concentrating their attention on crime, natural catastrophes, manipulating statistical data, omitting sources of information and selecting foreign experts who are critically inclined against the U.S media create a negative image of the United States.