Torture at Times: Waterboarding in the Media

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Torture at Times: Waterboarding in the Media

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dc.contributor.advisor Thomas E. Patterson en_US
dc.contributor.author Desai, Neal (J.D. Student, Harvard Law School)
dc.contributor.author Pineda, Andre
dc.contributor.author Runquist, Majken
dc.contributor.author Fusunyan, Mark Andrew
dc.contributor.author Glenn, Katy
dc.contributor.author Gould, Gabrielle Kathryn
dc.contributor.author Katz, Michelle Rachel
dc.contributor.author Lichtblau, Henry
dc.contributor.author Morgan, Maggie Jean
dc.contributor.author Wen, Sophia
dc.contributor.author Wong, Sandy
dc.date.accessioned 2010-09-02T14:21:02Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Neal Desai, Andre Pineda, Majken Runquist, and Mark Fusunyan, Torture at Times: Waterboarding in the Media, Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard Student Paper, April 2010 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4420886
dc.description.abstract The current debate over waterboarding has spawned hundreds of newspaper articles in the last two years alone. However, waterboarding has been the subject of press attention for over a century. Examining the four newspapers with the highest daily circulation in the country, we found a significant and sudden shift in how newspapers characterized waterboarding. From the early 1930s until the modern story broke in 2004, the newspapers that covered waterboarding almost uniformly called the practice torture or implied it was torture: The New York Times characterized it thus in 81.5% (44 of 54) of articles on the subject and The Los Angeles Times did so in 96.3% of articles (26 of 27). By contrast, from 2002-2008, the studied newspapers almost never referred to waterboarding as torture. The New York Times called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture in just 2 of 143 articles (1.4%). The Los Angeles Times did so in 4.8% of articles (3 of 63). The Wall Street journal characterized the practice as torture in just 1 of 63 articles (1.6%). USA Today never called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture. In addition, the newspapers are much more likely to call waterboarding torture if a country other than the United States is the perpetrator. In The New York Times, 85.8% of articles (28 of 33) that dealt with a country other than the United States using waterboarding called it torture or implied it was torture while only 7.69% (16 of 208) did so when the United States was responsible. The Los Angeles Times characterized the practice as torture in 91.3% of articles (21 of 23) when another country was the violator, but in only 11.4% of articles (9 of 79) when the United States was the perpetrator. en_US
dc.relation.isversionof http://www.hks.harvard.edu/presspol/publications/papers/torture_at_times_hks_students.pdf en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.title Torture at Times: Waterboarding in the Media en_US
dc.type Paper (for course/seminar/workshop) en_US
dc.relation.journal Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard Student Paper en_US
dash.depositing.author Pineda, Andre
dc.date.available 2010-09-02T14:21:02Z

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