Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communication

Document Type



ABSTRACT Using a media systems comparative framework, I investigated the relationship between systemic characteristics and news coverage of international events. Leveraging a highly salient event: the Ebola outbreak, I extended the Hallin and Mancini Model to non-western democracies. This dissertation explored differences in media coverage of Ebola across media systems. Findings revealed that characteristics of media systems inform how news about an event is framed by reporters. By investigating news influences, this dissertation broadly sheds light on the latent influences of politics and culture on what audiences receive as news. My results showed that liberal media systems such as those found in the U.S. or the U.K. were more likely to adopt advocacy and partisanship in coverage. I also found that the liberal media systems were more likely to use health expert sources in coverage of health issues rather than elite political sources. I found no difference in the overall type of frame used. Both systems used more of episodic frames than thematic frames.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Searles, Kathleen