Date of Graduation

Fall 12-14-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

International Studies

First Advisor

Dorothy Kidd

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This project studied the differences between mainstream news reporting in the U.S. and China. I employed content analysis to analyze the major features of 427 news reports about the economic interaction between the two countries. The research focused on the key media frames in the two sets of news media, the factors that shaped these media frames, and the real meanings behind those reports. The study found both similarities and differences. The two sets of media showed significant differences in their reporting of news and events about economic issues in terms of the selection of topics, and the discourse used, and at the ideological level. However, somewhat surprisingly, the overall pattern of reporting in practice was similar. Both were very selective in their news stories and news frames, focusing only on certain aspects of events and facts, and intentionally ignoring other aspects. They tended to report stories consistent with the foreign and economic policy of their host countries, and to select facts that favor their own country’s policies and interests. Therefore, the U.S. and Chinese media both act like a fun house mirror that reveals the overall images of our world albeit with somewhat distorted facts.