Consensus at home, opposition abroad: Officials, foreign sources, and U.S. news coverage of drone warfare.

New publication by Penny Sheets and colleagues in J&MCQ. Read the abstract below.

Abstract: This study examines the process and conditions under which U.S. news coverage aligns with—or challenges—the communications of government officials, focusing on the issue of U.S. drone warfare. White House, military, congressional, and press communications during President Obama’s first 5 years in office are analyzed to assess how the policy has been framed among officials and covered within the press. Evidence indicates that news coverage was significantly more critical of the policy than what was expressed among officials. In particular, despite near consensus at home, journalists exercised considerable discretion, consistently locating and amplifying oppositional voices from abroad in news coverage.