What is the War on Terror? Framing through the eyes of journalists

Seth C. Lewis, Stephen D. Reese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


This study explored the War on Terror framing process through interviews with journalists at USA Today, testing the presumption that, because frames are organizing principles whose manifestations extend beyond the level of content alone, journalists' personal discourse will reflect and reinforce frames found in the text. Results show that reporters "transmitted" the War on Terror as shorthand for policy, "reified" the frame as concrete and uncontested, and "naturalized" it as a taken-forgranted condition. These findings suggest broader lessons for the U.S. press in becoming more aware of the words and catchphrases that signify the prevailing wisdom of public officials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-102
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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