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A Mixed Methods Analysis of the Perceptions of the Media by Members of the British Forces during the Iraq War

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Richard J. Pinder, Dominic Murphy, Stephani L. Hatch, Amy Iversen, Christopher Dandeker, Simon Wessely

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131 - 152
Number of pages22
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Issue number1
PublishedOct 2009

King's Authors


Little is known about service personnel's perceptions of the media's coverage of war and its impact on the personnel and their families. Using data collected from a major cohort study of the British Armed Forces, this article examines perceptions of the coverage of the Iraq War among British personnel deployed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq (Operation Telic 1). It draws on the theories of media's effects and gauges whether hostile media effect or assimilation bias effect takes precedence. The authors qualitatively analyzed the responses of 200 military personnel regarding their perceptions of the media and supplemented this by further quantitative analysis. This led the authors to identify concerns that the media coverage was unsuitable, inaccurate, and too immediate; however, in some cases, coverage was considered beneficial. The importance of the family to those deployed and the extent to which media coverage can affect morale make the military family an important media audience.

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