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Uplifting manhood to wonderful heights? News coverage of the human costs of military conflict from world war I to Gulf war Two

Althaus, Scott L. and Swigger, Nathaniel and Chernykh, Svitlana and Hendry, David J. and Wals, Sergio C. and Tiwald, Christopher (2014) Uplifting manhood to wonderful heights? News coverage of the human costs of military conflict from world war I to Gulf war Two. Political Communication, 31 (2). pp. 193-217. ISSN 1058-4609

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Identification Number: 10.1080/10584609.2014.894159

Abstract

Domestic political support is an important factor constraining the use of American military power around the world. Although the dynamics of war support are thought to reflect a cost-benefit calculus, with costs represented by numbers of friendly war deaths, no previous study has examined how information about friendly, enemy, and civilian casualties is routinely presented to domestic audiences. This paper establishes a baseline measure of historical casualty reporting by examining New York Times coverage of five major wars that occurred over the past century. Despite important between-war differences in the scale of casualties, the use of conscription, the type of warfare, and the use of censorship, the frequency of casualty reporting and the framing of casualty reports has remained fairly consistent over the past 100 years. Casualties are rarely mentioned in American war coverage. When casualties are reported, it is often in ways that minimize or downplay the human costs of war.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/upcp20/current
Additional Information: © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2017 10:01
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2017 12:14
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/84984

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