Blood on their hands: media framing of the Afghan War Diary leaks

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Issue Date
2011-12
Authors
Schoch, Charles Jerome
Advisor
Dooley, Patricia L.
Citation
Abstract

WikiLeaks.org has rapidly become the most important new medium for the publication of previously secret documents. Arguably most important among these documents is the Afghan War Diary: a collection of 91,000 classified reports (minus 15,000 deemed too sensitive to immediately release), allegedly stolen and sent to WikiLeaks by Pfc. Bradley Manning. Daniel Ellsberg, the source of the 1971 Pentagon Papers leak to the New York Times, appearing on a July 26, 2010, airing of NPR's Talk of the Nation described the leak as "the first unauthorized disclosure, I would say, in 30 years that is comparable in scale to the Pentagon Papers. And of course, actually it's very much greater, partially reflecting the technology of the day." This research asks the research question: What frames are used to represent the Afghan War Diary, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and WikiLeaks in American print journalism? Using inductive, qualitative analysis on three major American print news sources in the three months following the leak (July 25th, 2010-October 25th, 2010), this rhetorical criticism attempts to identify frames for future research on the WikiLeaks phenomenon's coverage, validate the constructivist of news framing paradigm, and broaden communication scholars understanding of news frame construction and media effects.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Elliott School of Communication.
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