For or Against War?

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  • Title: For or Against War?: The Syrian Conflict on the New York Times Opinion Pages
  • Author(s): Gabriel Huland
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The Journal of Communication and Media Studies
  • Keywords: Syrian Conflict, New York Times, Journalism, American Foreign Policy, News Framing, Opinion Pages
  • Volume: 4
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2470-9247 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2470-9255 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2470-9247/CGP/v04i02/17-34
  • Citation: Huland, Gabriel S. 2019. "For or Against War?: The Syrian Conflict on the New York Times Opinion Pages." The Journal of Communication and Media Studies 4 (2): 17-34. doi:10.18848/2470-9247/CGP/v04i02/17-34.
  • Extent: 18 pages

Abstract

This article compares the representation of the Syrian conflict on the opinion pages of the “New York Times” during two periods: the two months covering the beginning of the protests (March–April 2011) and the two months after the expansion of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in July–August 2014. The Syrian conflict is the most reported upon in history and has been the subject of extensive debate in American media. Drawing on the idea of news framing, the article suggests that the “Times” reproduced narratives that converged with the policies undertaken by the Obama administration. Although the newspaper framed the conflict in its outset as a democratic uprising, the emergence of ISIS caused a discursive shift that saw the terrorist group as the center of attention. The article argues that the conversation on the “New York Times” opinion pages during the two periods was embedded in contradictions that hindered a more consistent comprehension of this complex and divisive event.