Date of Award

5-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Communication and Information

Major Professor

Catherine A. Luther

Committee Members

Michael R. Fitzgerald, Mark D. Harmon, Ronald E. Taylor

Abstract

The dissertation sought to answer the overarching question --- Whether the U.S. media in their international reportage about India reflect policies of the U.S. government? The dissertation studied the portrayal of India in the U.S. media 24 years during and 24 years after the Cold War (1967-2015). Published literature laid out that India and the U.S. were not on good terms during the Cold War. However, after the Cold War the two nations became friends.The study took into account news stories from The New York Times and The Washington Post from the two era. The study comprised a quantitative section and a qualitative section. The theory used for the research was Indexing theory. Framing also was used as a theoretical construct. The quantitative study involved a content analysis of the news stories included in the research. The study focused on how the news stories framed India-U.S. relations on five parameters: trade and economics, defense, nuclear issue, combating terrorism and secessionist movements in India.There was significant difference in the two time frames via chi-square tests on all five parameters under study. Therefore, the quantitative study found that the U.S. media portrayed India as anti-U.S. during the Cold War. The U.S. media portrayed India as a U.S. ally after the Cold War and the U.S. media were supportive of India’s stand on terrorism after the Cold War. The qualitative study involved uncovering common themes about India in the U.S. media during and after the Cold War. The qualitative study found that the common themes about India in both The New York Times and The Washington Post were a study in contrast for the two era. The common themes uncovered lent support to the quantitative findings of this research. The dissertation found that the U.S. media portrayed India in accordance with U.S. government policy stance on India during and after the Cold War.

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