The news media and their state: Testing concertation in news media and their messages in a comparative analysis of 36 democracies

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communications


Sung-Un Yang

Second Advisor

Pamela J. Shoemaker


News media, Messages, Democracies, Media orientation, Iraq War

Subject Categories

International and Intercultural Communication | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication


This study compares media in democracies on a global scale. The structure of news media and the content of news coverage are analyzed in relation to the social and political structures in which they operate. Part I of this study asks if the institutional structure of a democracy influences the nature of a media system. Using primarily secondary data and Lijphart's executives-parties (consensual-majoritarian scale), this study looks at whether news organizations differ with respect to readership, press freedoms and a concept called media orientation. Part II asks whether these same factors influenced news coverage of the buildup to the Iraq war. A content analysis measures sources, frames and the overall tone of news items from 528 news items published in 22 newspapers from 11 democracies.


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