This study investigates connections between terms of reference and discursive frames using U.S. newspaper reports on the 1991 Gulf War and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as a case study. Combining results from a quantitative and qualitative analysis of different terms of reference, three discursive frames were identified: The Statesman, The Madman and Our Saddam. The most common discursive frame was of a foreign head of state. Newspapers also included representations that both demonized Saddam Hussein and discussed him in the context of Middle Eastern in-groups. Previous research has highlighted the demonization of Saddam Hussein in news reports during the war, but the findings of this study suggest that an overtly demonizing discursive frame was a minority view. However, its use nonetheless showed lasting impact beyond the end of the military operation. Press reports thus showed more varied and ambivalent representations than previous analyses may have suggested.
Apr 29, 2021