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Images of Nations in the News: The Image of Greece in the U.S. Press An analytic perspective by Thimios Zaharopoulos Park University An analytic perspective.

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Presentation on theme: "Images of Nations in the News: The Image of Greece in the U.S. Press An analytic perspective by Thimios Zaharopoulos Park University An analytic perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 Images of Nations in the News: The Image of Greece in the U.S. Press An analytic perspective by Thimios Zaharopoulos Park University An analytic perspective by Thimios Zaharopoulos Park University

2 Definition of News Newsworthiness = –Timeliness –Proximity –Prominence –Conflict –Impact –Oddity Newsworthiness = –Timeliness –Proximity –Prominence –Conflict –Impact –Oddity

3 Characteristics of the U.S. News Media Gatekeepers Objectivity (conflicting truth claims) Focus on Events (not processes) It is a business (in a consumer society) Gatekeepers Objectivity (conflicting truth claims) Focus on Events (not processes) It is a business (in a consumer society)

4 Characteristics of International News Coverage Limited in amount Conflict-oriented Ethnocentric Elite nations are primarily covered Limited in amount Conflict-oriented Ethnocentric Elite nations are primarily covered

5 Determinants of International News Coverage Gross Domestic Product Trade Relations with the United States Population Area Political system Distance from the United States Gross Domestic Product Trade Relations with the United States Population Area Political system Distance from the United States

6 Diminishing News Hole Fewer foreign bureaus More dependence on wire services Less international news US news media do not cover the world, they cover US interests abroad Fewer foreign bureaus More dependence on wire services Less international news US news media do not cover the world, they cover US interests abroad

7 Media Framing News coverage parallels U.S. foreign policy Other countries are framed in the context of U.S. national interests The U.S. government influences media content (One way is through media dependence on official sources) National economic interests affect news coverage When U.S. interests are insignificant, the coverage is negative; dependence on wire services and short articles Medias bias and stereotypes (i.e., toward Muslims) Negative coverage if the U.S. is in war with that nation News coverage parallels U.S. foreign policy Other countries are framed in the context of U.S. national interests The U.S. government influences media content (One way is through media dependence on official sources) National economic interests affect news coverage When U.S. interests are insignificant, the coverage is negative; dependence on wire services and short articles Medias bias and stereotypes (i.e., toward Muslims) Negative coverage if the U.S. is in war with that nation

8 –Yes, especially if people do not have much personal experience with that nation –Yes, framing affects recall –Yes, when the issue is not as important –Yes, if framing deals with degrees of democracy –Yes, if information is limited –Generalization takes place about group of nations –Even educated perceptions are affected –Yes, especially if people do not have much personal experience with that nation –Yes, framing affects recall –Yes, when the issue is not as important –Yes, if framing deals with degrees of democracy –Yes, if information is limited –Generalization takes place about group of nations –Even educated perceptions are affected Does news coverage affect peoples image of a nation?

9 Does the image of a nation affect US foreign policy toward that nation? Images could impose a strong label on a nation (terrorist, free, ally, etc) A event can be interpreted differently depending on the image An negative image of the opponent will likely develop negative evaluative attitudes those who perceive an opponent as culturally different seem to develop more negative attitudes toward them. Images could impose a strong label on a nation (terrorist, free, ally, etc) A event can be interpreted differently depending on the image An negative image of the opponent will likely develop negative evaluative attitudes those who perceive an opponent as culturally different seem to develop more negative attitudes toward them.

10 Image of Greece 1970sVery little coverage –Cyprus issue –Return of Democracy –Soft news related to Greek cuisine and tourism 1979 UNESCO study –Fewer stories than average –Longer stories and more Photographs –Primarily in print media –Primarily feature stories, not hard news 1970sVery little coverage –Cyprus issue –Return of Democracy –Soft news related to Greek cuisine and tourism 1979 UNESCO study –Fewer stories than average –Longer stories and more Photographs –Primarily in print media –Primarily feature stories, not hard news

11 Image of Greece 1980s - major U.S. newspapers –Very little coverage –Mostly about Greek-US relations (negotiations over the US military bases) –Eleni by Nicholas Gage –Melina Mercouri and Parthenon Marbles –Very little bad news –No relationship between amount and Greek population in city of publication 1980s - major U.S. newspapers –Very little coverage –Mostly about Greek-US relations (negotiations over the US military bases) –Eleni by Nicholas Gage –Melina Mercouri and Parthenon Marbles –Very little bad news –No relationship between amount and Greek population in city of publication

12 Image of Greece Coverage of A. Papandreou –More neutral than non-neutral –More negative than positive –Very little depth –Coups and Earthquakes coverage and parallel to State Department positions Coverage of A. Papandreou –More neutral than non-neutral –More negative than positive –Very little depth –Coups and Earthquakes coverage and parallel to State Department positions

13 Image of Greece November 17 ( ) –Limited coverage –Favorable to neutral coverage of Greece (more favorable when members arrested) –When US citizens were victims, major label used was terrorists –When non-US citizens were victims, major label used was officials –Extensive dependence on official sources November 17 ( ) –Limited coverage –Favorable to neutral coverage of Greece (more favorable when members arrested) –When US citizens were victims, major label used was terrorists –When non-US citizens were victims, major label used was officials –Extensive dependence on official sources

14 Framing of the 2004 Olympics Terrorism threats Readiness of facilities Otherwise mostly neutral, followed by positive (especially during the Games) Much of the coverage was conflict- oriented Terrorism threats Readiness of facilities Otherwise mostly neutral, followed by positive (especially during the Games) Much of the coverage was conflict- oriented

15 Characterization of Coverage of Greece Limited in quantity Not terribly focused on bad news More features than hard news relative to other nations Predictable: conflict, relevance personalization, balance, deviance, impact, proximity Limited in quantity Not terribly focused on bad news More features than hard news relative to other nations Predictable: conflict, relevance personalization, balance, deviance, impact, proximity

16 2008 Media Coverage Greek Americans13.2% Athens Riots 8.0% Greek Company News 7.5% Economic News 6.3% Olympics and Olympic Flame Relay 5.7% Greek Orthodox Church 5.7% Archaeology/Museums 4.6% Sports 4.6% Strikes 4.0% Independence Day Commemoration 3.4% Kosovo Recognition 3.4% Earthquakes/Weather/Accidents/Fires 3.4% Pension Law passes 2.9% FYROM issue 2.9% Travel & Tourism 2.9% Greek Society 1.7% Energy Issues 1.7% Jules Dasins death 1.7% Odd News 1.7% U.S.-Greek Relations 1.7% Greek Americans13.2% Athens Riots 8.0% Greek Company News 7.5% Economic News 6.3% Olympics and Olympic Flame Relay 5.7% Greek Orthodox Church 5.7% Archaeology/Museums 4.6% Sports 4.6% Strikes 4.0% Independence Day Commemoration 3.4% Kosovo Recognition 3.4% Earthquakes/Weather/Accidents/Fires 3.4% Pension Law passes 2.9% FYROM issue 2.9% Travel & Tourism 2.9% Greek Society 1.7% Energy Issues 1.7% Jules Dasins death 1.7% Odd News 1.7% U.S.-Greek Relations 1.7%

17 Image of Greece Americans have a positive image Press coverage of Greek Americans is positive Greece is not an important nation Greece is presented more in historical and cultural contexts Greece has its share of conflicts and bad news but not as much as others Greece is more exotic than elite Americans have a positive image Press coverage of Greek Americans is positive Greece is not an important nation Greece is presented more in historical and cultural contexts Greece has its share of conflicts and bad news but not as much as others Greece is more exotic than elite

18 Conclusion & Suggestions All media coverage is limited Is the image of Greece accurately negative? History of Greece and Greek-Americans possibly serve to filter and inoculate against negative perceptions The Olympics helped Image must be re-framed to reflect more contemporary issues All media coverage is limited Is the image of Greece accurately negative? History of Greece and Greek-Americans possibly serve to filter and inoculate against negative perceptions The Olympics helped Image must be re-framed to reflect more contemporary issues

19 Suggestions Must target different audiences with appropriately different messages Have a long-term communication strategy Use new media (PR Wire, Blogs, websites, virtual communities) Use the Diaspora Make sure Greek-Americans do not accept a negative image of Greece-- they will communicate it to Americans Continue research and monitoring Must target different audiences with appropriately different messages Have a long-term communication strategy Use new media (PR Wire, Blogs, websites, virtual communities) Use the Diaspora Make sure Greek-Americans do not accept a negative image of Greece-- they will communicate it to Americans Continue research and monitoring


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