Elite press coverage of the 1986 U.S.-Libya conflict: A case study of tactical and strategic critique

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Abstract

This research tests the effects of press professionalism, administration press management, and public patriotism on coverage of the 1986 U.S.-Libya crisis by the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. Patterns of "tactical" (small-scale, efficiency-oriented) and "strategic" (overarching, ethical) critique during periods of low-, medium-, and high-intensity conflict are reviewed. Tactical opposition to both the Reagan administration and the Qaddafi regime slightly outweighs support, while strategic critique is 65 percent pro-Reagan administration but only 14 percent pro-Qaddafi regime. Support for the U.S. administration declines during intense conflict. The pattern of findings supports administration press management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-627
Number of pages16
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Volume77
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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