From the 'Battle of Seattle' to the 'War on Terrorism' in The New York Times
Unformatted Document Text:
From the ‘Battle of Seattle’ to the ‘War on Terrorism’ 14
place in Manhattan, the newspaper’s home turf, at that time. In addition, many celebrities and
public figures participated in the New York events, thereby boosting perceived newsworthiness.
Thus, a rise takes place in the short term but not in the long term.
— insert Figure 1 here —
The numbers of visual elements and of front-page placements follow a similar curve,
dropping off within the year after Seattle and jumping back to high levels—42 photos and
graphics, nine appearances on front pages— nearly two years later, when a protest occurred
locally. One note of interest in this trend is that starting with Prague the visuals remain relatively
more prominent than text; the number of photographs exceeds the number of stories in six of the
nine time periods. For example, in the case of the “slow” time period for coverage surrounding
Quebec City protests, just six stories were published along with 19 photos, tables or other
graphic elements. While the number of photos rose slightly over time, the number of front pages
stayed constant. The percentage of stories in each period that ran on a section front page ranged
from 17 percent to 33 percent, and the proportion remained the same for New York as it had
been for Seattle (26 percent).
Even with the inclusion of New York, which presents a special geographic circumstance,
the prominence of coverage of the anti-globalization movement does not increase substantially
over the course of three years, when measured by a combination of quantity of stories, visual
salience and placement. Hypothesis 1 must be rejected. It seems clear, however, that the 1999
demonstrations against the World Trade Organization put the anti-globalization movement on
the journalists’ map, so to speak. Only one story was identified addressing this topic in the Times
in the four months prior to Seattle, yet 191 stories—ranging from six to 42 per time period—
were published in the 29 months following that watershed event.