ERIC Number: ED163497
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: 0
American Newspaper Editorials on the Vietnam War: An Experimental Approach to Editorial Content Analysis.
Elias, Stephen N.
The editorials about four Vietnam War news events that appeared in five newspapers were examined for content, tone, page placement, and length to discover what trends in editorial coverage occurred. The 131 editorials that were examined appeared in the "New York Times," the "Los Angeles Times," the "Wall Street Journal," the "Chicago Tribune," and the "Washington Post" within 21 days of the following news events: the Tonkin Gulf incident, the 1968 Tet Offensive, President Nixon's 1969 "Vietnamization" announcement, and the fall of Saigon. Five major findings resulted from the content analysis: (1) The overall tone of the editorials was antiwar. (2) During the periods studied, the "New York Times" was consistently antiwar while the "Wall Street Journal" trended from antiwar to prowar and the other three newspapers trended from prowar to antiwar. (3) The newspapers were willing to take definite stands during the periods under study. (4) The paper that most clearly appeared to have changed its editorial opinion was the "Los Angeles Times." (5) The "New York Times" and the "Washington Post," both generally prolific in their editorials throughout the periods studied, inexplicably presented fewer items on the Tet Offensive than the other papers. The study also established the usefulness of the basic "Statistical Package for the Social Sciences" (SPSS) in newspaper content analysis. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Vietnam War
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (61st, Seattle, Washington, August 13-16, 1978)