Coverage of international news in Brazilian and American print media: Applying the structural theory of imperialism to media agenda setting concerning international news

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


International Studies

First Committee Member

Roger E. Kanet - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Ira M. Sheskin - Committee Member


This study analyzed the content of selected American and Brazilian top-selling newspapers to identify whether September 11, 2001 and its aftermaths did affect the media's coverage of international news stories almost three years after the terrorist attacks. Not only had the issue been relegated by scholars but also no contemporary study on agenda setting has analyzed the content of the news in two vastly different countries during the same period of time. This study addresses those concerns by applying an interdisciplinary approach, using notions of structural theory of imperialism---taken from the field of international relations---to the study of the media agenda concerning international news. A content analysis of best selling American and Brazilian newspapers during the same timeframe showed that September 11 and its aftermaths still influenced the American media in 2004, but did not influence the Brazilian media. The results also suggested that the changes in the U.S. will not be longlasting. The project also offered advances to the methodology of studies using content analysis.


Journalism; Political Science, International Law and Relations

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