Visually Framing the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq in TIME, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report

Carol B. Schwalbe


Previous studies of U.S. war coverage have identified a narrow range of visual portrayals that reflect American-centric, government source-directed frames. This study found that the three major U.S. news magazines echoed those patterns during the invasion and occupation of Iraq. A content analysis of 2,258 images revealed that TIME, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report framed the first 16 months of the Iraq War from an American-centered perspective, focusing on conflict, politicians, and human interest. The news weeklies generally neglected alternative viewpoints, such as antiwar protests, destruction, Iraqi military leaders and troops, and the human toll. Nor did readers see many Iraqi and American females, children, the injured, or the dead, as they appeared in less than 12% of the images.

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