Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Drone aircraft--Press coverage; Drone aircraft--Public opinion; Targeted killing--Press coverage; Targeted killing--Public opinion;


The purpose of this study was to look for the dominant frames found in AP coverage of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, compare this data to public opinion of drone strikes, and to look at how often the AP was covering CIA drone strikes in relation to the total number of strikes taking place. To begin the CIA drone program, framing, determinants of international news coverage, the press and classified information leaks, and press theories will be reviewed. To accomplish the purpose of this study a content analysis was conducted on data obtained from a LexisNexis search. The search terms were constructed to insure that the search only returned CIA strikes. The search returned 319 AP stories about CIA drone strikes. The data was coded and analyzed. A list of all known drone strikes was obtained from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and each strike was looked at to see if the AP and New York Times had a story on it. The results showed that the dominant positive and negative frames that existed in AP coverage went along the same lines as the United States government’s foreign policy. The stories tended to highlight the benefits of the program while lacking focuses on the biggest disadvantages. This result was related to public opinion of drone strikes. Public opinion tended to be in favor of drone strikes, which wasn’t surprising because of the frames utilized by the AP. The results also showed that the AP was doing a much better job of covering CIA drone strikes than the New York Times, but there was still room for improvement on the part of the AP. The conclusion of this study is that the AP demonstrates a troubling pattern of coverage on CIA drone strikes. This study also illustrated deeper issues surrounding press theories. The results of this study indicate that moving toward the democratic socialist theory of the press may be the answer to some of the problems that exist in the press today.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Communication Studies

First Advisor

Chris Martin

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 71 pages)



File Format