Rettig, Elai, and Eli Avraham. “The Role of Intergovernmental Organizations in the ‘Battle over Framing’: The Case of the Israeli–West Bank Separation Barrier.” International Journal of Press/Politics (early view; online first).
Current studies focusing on the media’s coverage of international conflicts have largely overlooked the important role that intergovernmental bodies may play in their framing. Still missing is an examination of how and to what degree do actions performed by such bodies help define the way journalists report on ongoing conflicts. We claim that in the absence of credible state actors to rely on for information during conflict, journalists will turn to statements made by international bodies as alternative sources of authority to shape their reporting. This study uses framing theory to examine how the United Nations General Assembly and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) became the primary definers for the international media during its coverage of the Israeli–West Bank separation barrier. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative content analysis, we examine the major news items related to the barrier that appeared between the years 2002 and 2011 in four leading newspapers in the United States and the United Kingdom (New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, and the Times). We determine what main media frames were being used during coverage of the barrier and point to the drastic change that occurred in their dominance following actions performed by the ICJ.