2016

The Impact of News Photos on Support for Military Action

Reprint No. 2016:49

Author(s): Stuart Soroka, Peter Loewen, Patrick Fournier and Daniel RubensonYear: 2016 Title: Political Communication Volume (No.): 33 (4) Pages: 563–582
Online article (restrictions may apply)


Drawing on two experiments embedded in online surveys, this article examines the impact of news photos on support for military action. In 2011, respondents were asked about support for ongoing military involvement in Afghanistan while being randomly exposed to one of two photos—one of a soldier with a child, the other of a soldier with a gun. The former photo increased expressed support for war; and the effect was greater for those who self-identify as being very interested in international affairs. Three years later, a follow-up experiment was fielded that looked both at the past intervention in Afghanistan and ongoing interventions in Syria; results were very similar. Both experiments speak to the potentially profound role of mass media in generating support (or not) for foreign military engagements, and the increased impact of frames on those who are more attentive to the issue domain.


Reference:
Soroka, Stuart, Peter Loewen, Patrick Fournier and Daniel Rubenson (2016), "The Impact of News Photos on Support for Military Action". Political Communication 33(4), 563–582.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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