ISSN: 1550-7521

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Research Article Open Access

The President as a Character: A Narrative Analysis of USA TODAY and the New York Times Coverage of Drone Strikes during the Obama Presidency


In this paper, I will examine the Obama administration's use of drone strikes through a narrative analysis of text from the news sources USA TODAY and The New York Times about how President Obama is specifically constructed as a narrative character. This study intends not to focus on Obama the president but instead a media source's representation of Obama through a narrative construct. This process illustrates the importance of connecting a socially significant topic, an important world leader and an interpretative research approach intended to highlight the complexity of character construction when understanding media representations. I will discuss these topics by first giving some background about drone strikes and the political and economic interests that help to shape media content in the U.S. Next, I will explain the importance of narrative when constructing understandings of media text and how those understanding help to formulate conclusions about the media discourse that flows freely through modern life. Then, I will give examples from the USA TODAY text that illustrate the findings about the construction of the character of President Obama. Finally, I will illustrate some conclusions and options for future research about drone strikes, narrative and media discourse.

Brion White

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