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Coverage of International News by US Media

Daily news and significant events are not covered similarly in different countries and by various media outlets. Some incidents and affairs are bound to be viewed in other countries through a prism of the relationship between the two states. This essay will discuss how US news media report events that are taking place in other countries. Specifically, two articles describing the coverage of events in China and Russia will be summarized and examined.

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US news media often covers major events taking place in Russian Federation. Thus, Pan and Lawal (2017) compared how two major American news outlets, Washington Times and New York Times, reported on the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014. According to Pan and Lawal (2017), the discussed newspapers approached the coverage differently, with Washington Times framing the event more negatively than New Your Times.

In addition, both newspapers deviated from the narration of the Olympic Games and the sportspersons taking part in the competition. Thus, Washington Times used episodic frames to report on adverse incidents that depicted the city of Sochi and the decision to conduct the Olympic Games there in a negative light. For example, the paper covered the anti-LGBTQ protest near Sochi, raising concerns for the safety of LGBTQ athletes (Pan & Lawal, 2017). Articles that were written positively focused on US sportspersons and their achievements, diverting the attention from the games in Sochi to American participation (Pan & Lawal, 2017). Overall, the Washington Times reports on the Olympic Games can be described as negative.

In contrast, New York Times covered the Sochi Winter Olympic Games from a more neutral perspective. The paper published several positive articles about the American participation in the games and the city of Sochi, drawing attention to some of its landmarks (Pan & Lawal, 2017). However, the authors found several critical articles condemning the anti-LGBTQ protests in Russia and discussing the potential and unconfirmed Muslim presence in the region (Pan & Lawal, 2017). The paper also used Cold War references to remind the readers of the past and present tension between two countries (Pan & Lawal, 2017). Overall, the authors concluded that although the Olympic Games were covered somewhat neutrally, the newspapers’ ideologies influenced the reporting of controversial issues.

Similarly, the events taking place in China, a country with tumultuous relationships with the United States, are often reported by the USA news media. In the last few years, the Chinese government’s treatment of ethnic minorities became highly debated. Specifically, the country’s relationship with Uighur Muslims became a point of interest for American newspapers. Thus, Zhu (2017) discussed how US media portrayed the conflict between the government and the minority mentioned above and why the portrayal differed from that of Muslim groups in the United States. Zhu (2017) described general tendencies media adopted when reporting on the events in China and over 50 articles on the Uighur minority and the Chinese government’s relationship. Thus, it can be asserted that American newspapers tend to discuss China in a negative light.

The coverage of the conflict between the Uighurs and the government is somewhat biased, with the minority being portrayed positively and the government described as the side at fault. According to Zhu (2017), American newspapers attribute the civil unrest and violence to the Chinese government and its laws and policies. Although some of the articles mentioned the militant Muslim group as responsible for the terrorist attacks on Chinese soil, the government’s policies were described as the primary reason for those acts (Zhu, 2017). Overall, the articles concluded that the US media adopted the villain and hero approach to reporting the issue, with the government being viewed as the villain.

In summary, reading these two articles helped me become more news media literate when it comes to international news. Specifically, these papers showed me that global events coverage could be biased due to the ideologies of the individual newspapers and the countries where they are printed. I believe that few reports today are unbiased, and they depend greatly on the difference in culture and, views, and values of the authors and the country they are discussing.

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Thus, Chinese and Russian policies towards the LGBTQ community and ethnic minorities vary significantly from that of the United States, leading to political tension reflected in news media. I also learned that even various newspapers could differently cover the same events, depending on their internal policies and beliefs. Overall, I believe that it is important to consider these differences and read several accounts of the same events to better understand the issue at hand.


Pan, P., & Lawal, T. (2017). Ideological framing in U.S. news coverage of Sochi winter Olympic Games. Russian Journal of Communication, 9(1), 19–33. Web.

Zhu, D. (2017). Hero and villain on a foreign land: A textual analysis on U.S. newspaper coverage of China’s Uighur unrest. SHS Web of Conferences, 33, 1–11. Web.

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