Media and the Public: the New York Times Coverage of Weapons of Mass Destruction from 2002 to 2005 and its Correlation with Public Opinion

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Colleen Griffiths (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Anthony R. Curtis

Abstract: Many criticize the media for biased reporting, especially since September 11, 2001, and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. This study takes a look at the New York Times' coverage of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2005, and compares it to public opinion polls during that time period to determine that there is a correlation between the two.In this study, a qualitative analysis of more than 1,900 of the Times' articles help to show that as the number of editorials increased and the amount of hard news stories decreased, public opinion dropped. In the process of conducting a quantitative analysis, the study looked at six terms: axis of evil, Iraq, September 11, terror, weapon programs; and weapons of mass destruction. The quantitative study determined that there was a correlation between public opinion and the use of several of the terms, including Iraq, terror, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. However, use of the other terms did not have a clear link.In conclusion, the study found that the public's outcry over bias in the media is a credible argument. The use of public opinion poll information explains why the coverage of the Times could indeed affect the way the mass public thinks about this specific issue.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 2007
Media, September 11, 2001, New York Times, Iraq, Media Portrayal, Quantitative Analysis,

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