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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’ 7 7 (visually appealing and consisting of on-the-scene, live coverage) versus thematic (requiring interpretive analyses, which tends to crowd out other news items). The media’s episodic bias in reporting on social protests, however, may diminish as journalists begin to understand the movement—and its social critique—in both broader and deeper terms. Thus, two additional hypotheses are: H4: The number of positive terms used to describe the anti-globalization movement’s efficacy (in terms of societal influence, support and goals) in the New York Times’ coverage will increase substantially from 1999 to 2002. H5: The proportion of negative terms used to describe anti-globalization protest events (clash, chaos, riot, violence…) in the New York Times’ coverage will decrease substantially from 1999 to 2002, as compared to neutral and positive terms (demonstration, march, teach-in, rally...). The events of September 11 ignited a moral panic, “an explosion of fear and concern at a particular time and place about a specific perceived threat” (Goode and Ben-Yehuda, 1994, 150) to which patriotism, harmony and consensus seemed to offer at least a temporary remedy. That historical episode might have incited the U.S. mainstream media to downplay protest coverage, re-marginalize activist sources in favor of official ones, and cast dissent in a more negative light—in other words, to present any potential threat to the nation’s values and interests in a stylized and stereotypical fashion (Cohen, 1972, 9). Even if a movement-friendly trend is found in this coverage, New York Times reporters might have revived the protest paradigm to accommodate a new terrorist frame following the “Attack on America” and subsequent “War on Terrorism.”

Authors: Rauch, Jennifer., Chitrapu, Sunitha., Evans, John., Mwesige, Peter., Paine, Christopher. and Eastman, Susan.
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From the ‘Battle of Seattle’ to the ‘War on Terrorism’ 7
7
(visually appealing and consisting of on-the-scene, live coverage) versus thematic (requiring
interpretive analyses, which tends to crowd out other news items). The media’s episodic bias in
reporting on social protests, however, may diminish as journalists begin to understand the
movement—and its social critique—in both broader and deeper terms. Thus, two additional
hypotheses are:

H4: The number of positive terms used to describe the anti-globalization movement’s
efficacy (in terms of societal influence, support and goals) in the New York Times’
coverage will increase substantially from 1999 to 2002.

H5: The proportion of negative terms used to describe anti-globalization protest events
(clash, chaos, riot, violence…) in the New York Times’ coverage will decrease
substantially from 1999 to 2002, as compared to neutral and positive terms
(demonstration, march, teach-in, rally...).
The events of September 11 ignited a moral panic, “an explosion of fear and concern at a
particular time and place about a specific perceived threat” (Goode and Ben-Yehuda, 1994, 150)
to which patriotism, harmony and consensus seemed to offer at least a temporary remedy. That
historical episode might have incited the U.S. mainstream media to downplay protest coverage,
re-marginalize activist sources in favor of official ones, and cast dissent in a more negative
light—in other words, to present any potential threat to the nation’s values and interests in a
stylized and stereotypical fashion (Cohen, 1972, 9). Even if a movement-friendly trend is found
in this coverage, New York Times reporters might have revived the protest paradigm to
accommodate a new terrorist frame following the “Attack on America” and subsequent “War on
Terrorism.”


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