Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Chomsky

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Jorgensen

Third Advisor

Dr. Clyde Barrow


This thesis analyzes the U.S. mainstream media’s coverage of Venezuela’s political crisis from January to July of 2019. By deciding not only the issues presented, but their tone and stance, the media actively sets policy agendas and influences public opinion. The propaganda model (PM) provides a predictive framework for understanding media behavior and how “filters” determine published content. Using a media content analysis of 270 articles on the Venezuelan crisis in the NYT and WSJ, I found strong evidence for the PM viz a heavy reliance on U.S. government sources, strong U.S. foreign policy support, and an absence of alternate viewpoints. I correlated increased State Department attention on Venezuela with greater news coverage. The PM’s explanatory power may answer further questions about why similar international crises go under-reported and how the media is likely to cover foreign affairs in a manner that represents interests of the political elite.


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