Share This Article:

Newspapers Coverage of Spain and the United States: A Comparative Analysis

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:115KB) PP. 67-74
DOI: 10.4236/sm.2012.21009    5,412 Downloads   9,171 Views   Citations


This article assesses the content of foreign news coverage in the United States and Spain. It draws on content analysis of two U.S. and two Spanish newspapers over a 28-month period, during 2005-2007 and in 2009. The results show that the content of these newspapers tends to be more negative when covering politics. However, there was a major change in the type of coverage in the Spanish newspapers from the period 2005-2007 to 2009. Coverage of U.S. politics in 2009 was much more positive than in the previous period studied. These findings suggest that newspapers contribute to an overall unfavorable representation of these countries for their respective populations. Also, when covering international news, newspapers are less independent from their government agendas than they claim; supporting critical research findings that mainstream media is vulnerable to “news management” by the government.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Menéndez Alarcón, A. (2012). Newspapers Coverage of Spain and the United States: A Comparative Analysis. Sociology Mind, 2, 67-74. doi: 10.4236/sm.2012.21009.


[1] Altheide, D., & Snow, R. (1979). Media logic. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
[2] Alam, S. (2007). The visual representation of developing countries by developmental agencies and the Western media. Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, 5, 59-65.
[3] Alexander, J. (1986). The “Form” of substance: The senate watergate hearings as ritual. In S. Ball-Rokeach, & M. Cantor (Eds.), Media, audience and social structure (pp. 241-251). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
[4] Bang, M. (2007). Representation of foreign countries in two US newspapers: Analysing grammatical collocates of China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea. URL (last checked 16 January 2011)
[5] Barstow, D., & Stein, R. (2005). Under Bush, a new age of prepackaged TV news. New York Times, March 13.
[6] Darley, J. M., & Gross, P. H. (1983). A hypothesis-confirming bias in labeling effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 20-33. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.44.1.20
[7] De Rosa, A. S. (1996). Reality changes faster than research: National and supranational identity in social representations of the European community in the context of changes in international relations. In G. M. Breakwell, & E. Lyons (Eds.), Changing European identities: Social psychological analysis of social change (pp. 381-404). London: Butterworth Heinemann.
[8] Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 5-18. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.56.1.5
[9] Dovidio, J. F., Evans, N., & Tyler, R. B. (1986). Racial stereotypes: The contents of their cognitive representations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 22-37. doi:10.1016/0022-1031(86)90039-9
[10] Ford, T. E., Stangor, C., & Duan, C. (1994). Influence of social category accessibility and category-associated traid accessibility on judgements of individuals. Social Cognition, 12, 149-168. doi:10.1521/soco.1994.12.2.149
[11] Gaertner, S. L., & McLaughlin, J. P. (1983). Racial stereotypes: Associations and ascriptions of positive and negative characteristics. Social Psychology Quarterly, 46, 23-30. doi:10.2307/3033657
[12] Gamson, W. A., Croteau, D., Hoynes, W., & Sasson, T. (1992). Media images and the social construction of reality. Annual Review of Sociology, 18, 373-393.
[13] Gerbner, G. (1969). The film hero; A cross-cultural study. Journalism Monographs, 13, 1-54.
[14] Gilbert, D. T., & Hixon, J. G. (1991). The trouble of thinking: Activation and application of stereotypic beliefs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 509-517. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.60.4.509
[15] Hall, S. (2002). The work of representation. In S. Hall (Ed.), Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices (pp. 13-74). London: Sage.
[16] Herman, E. (1993). The media’s role in US foreign policy. Journal of International Affairs, 47, 23-46.
[17] Heung, M. (1997). The family romance of orientalism: From Madam Butterfly to Indochine. In M. Bernstein, & G. Studlar (Eds.), Visions of the East: Orientalism in film (pp. 158-183). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
[18] Lacy, S., Robinson, K., & Riffe, D. (1995). Sample size in content analysis of weekly newspapers. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 72, 336-345. doi:10.1177/107769909507200207
[19] Lang, K., & Lang, G. E. (2002). Television and politics. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
[20] Leung, C. M., & Huang, Y. (2007). The paradox of journalistic representation of the other: The case of SARS coverage on China and Vietnam by western-led English-language media in five countries. Journalism, 8, 675-697. doi:10.1177/1464884907083118
[21] Liebes, T., & Katz, E. (1994). Exporting meaning: Cross-cultural readings of Dallas. New York: Oxford University Press.
[22] Livingstone, S. M. (1998). Making sense of television: The psychology of audience interpretation. Oxford: Pergamon.
[23] Lundby, K. (2009). “Media logic: Looking for social interactions. In K. Lundby (Ed.), Mediation: Concept, changes, consequences(pp. 101-111). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
[24] McCombs, M. (2010). The agenda setting role of the mass media in the setting of public opinion. URL (last checked 12 May 2010)
[25] Mcquail, D. (2010). Mass communication theory (6th ed.). London: Sage.
[26] Morley, D. (1980). The nationwide audience: Structure and decoding. Television Monograph No. 11. London: British Film Institute.
[27] Nadel, A. (1997). A whole new (Disney) world order: Aladdin, atomic power, and the Muslim Middle East. In M. Bernstein, & G. Studlar (Eds.), Visions of the East: Orientalism in film (pp. 184-203). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
[28] Pingree, S., & Hawkins, R. (1981). “US programs on Australian television: The cultivation effect. Journal of Communication, 31, 97-105. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1981.tb01209.x
[29] Riffe, D., Aust, C., & Lacy, S. (1993). The effectiveness of random, consecutive day and constructed week sampling in newspaper content analysis. Journalism Quarterly, 70, 133-139. doi:10.1177/107769909307000115
[30] Risse, T. (2001). A European identity? Europeanization and the evolution of nation-state identities. In M. G. Cowles, J. Caporaso, & T. Risse (Eds.), Transforming Europe: Europeanization and domestic change (pp. 198-216). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
[31] Saito, S. (1996). The image of the partner: Television’s contribution to Japanese perceptions of America. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania.
[32] Saleem, N. (2007). US media framing of foreign countries image: An analytical perspective. Canadian Journal of Media Studies, 2, 130-162.
[33] Scheufele, D. A., & Tewksbury, D. (2007). Framing, agenda setting, and priming: The evolution of three media effects models. Journal of Communication, 57, 9-20.
[34] Semetko, H. A., Brzinski, J. B., Weaver, D., & Willnat, L. (1992). TV news and US public opinion about foreign countries: The impact of exposure and attention. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 4, 18-36. doi:10.1093/ijpor/4.1.18
[35] Springer, C. (1991) Comprehension and crisis: Reporter films and the Third World. In L. D. Friedman (Ed.), Unspeakable Images: Ethnicity and the American CInema (pp. 167-189). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
[36] Tan, A. S., & Suarchavarat, K. (1988). American TV and social stereotypes of Americans in Thailand. Journalism Quarterly, 65, 648-654. doi:10.1177/107769908806500313
[37] Torgovnick, M. (1990). Gone primitive: Savage intellects, modern lives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[38] Willnat, L., He, Z., & Hao, X. (1996). The effects of foreign media exposure on cognitive and affective perceptions of Americans in Hong Kong, China, and Singapore. Paper presented at the International Communication Association Meeting. Chicago.
[39] Weaver, D. H. (2007). Thoughts on agenda setting, framing, and priming. Journal of Communication, 57, 142-147.
[40] Wimmer, R. D. & J. R. Dominick. (2010). Mass Media Research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.