Defining the Iraq-Afghanistan Veteran in American Newspapers

Douglas Wilbur
  • Sociology Study, April 2016, David Publishing Company
  • DOI: 10.17265/2159-5526/2016.04.006

Defining the IraqAfghanistan Veteran inAmerican Newspapers

What is it about?

Employing inductive framing analysis and Entman’s theory of framing, this project examines how the U.S. mainstream media defined Iraq‐Afghanistan Veterans and their problems. This study used inductive framing analysis with a sample of 180 articles from seven major newspapers and two wire services. The findings revealed five dominant frames: broken veteran, disoriented veteran, fighting the bureaucratic enemy, overwhelmed family, and the financial hardship frames. Two counter‐frames that attempted to challenge the dominant frames were identified: moral obligation to help and the healing counter‐frames. The finding of this research indicates that while news frames of Iraq‐Afghanistan Veterans skew negative, these news frames are not as negative as one might suspect. Thus, veterans’ groups, government agencies, and interested political actors need to sponsor counter‐frames that emphasize the stability and employability of these veterans.

Why is it important?

This paper was meant to guide the public relations strategies for veterans service organizations and groups.

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