Policy Memos

What Drives Russia Coverage in the Mainstream American Press?

Policy Memo:


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Foreign affairs coverage in the mainstream media in the United States--centering on the wire services, the newspapers of record (The New York Times, The Washington Post), and the major television and radio networks--often appears mysterious. Why do specific stories, voices, policy options, opinion data, historical backgrounds, and investigative reporting appear when they do in the news? Why do some stories make big splashes triggering "saturation coverage," while seemingly no less important stories barely register on the news radar? Does the news flow wax and wane--to list only some explanations--due to government news management, economic interests of the principal stakeholders in the media, public demand and curiosity, political culture of media institutions (known in partisan terms as "the liberal media bias"), or the demands of news production? [...]

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About the author

Professor of Political Science
San Diego State University