Some dared call it torture

Cultural resonance, Abu Ghraib, and a selectively echoing press

Charles M Rowling, Timothy M. Jones, Penelope Sheets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study draws upon research on "indexing" and "cascading activation" to explore U.S. political and news discourse surrounding the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Specifically, we systematically analyze White House, military, congressional, and news messages. In so doing, we incorporate scholarship on social identity theory to suggest why news media challenge certain White House frames but uncritically echo others. Our data demonstrate that White House frames were consistently challenged by Democrats in the opposing party, but that these competing congressional messages were largely absent in news coverage. These results challenge previous research on news coverage of Abu Ghraib. We discuss how these patterns align with and expand Entman's cascading activation model of press-state relations, and consider the implications for future scholarship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1061
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume61
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

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torture
news
Chemical activation
Prisons
activation
coverage
scandal
indexing
correctional institution
Military
White House
News
Abu Ghraib
Torture
discourse
Activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Some dared call it torture : Cultural resonance, Abu Ghraib, and a selectively echoing press. / Rowling, Charles M; Jones, Timothy M.; Sheets, Penelope.

In: Journal of Communication, Vol. 61, No. 6, 01.12.2011, p. 1043-1061.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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