conflict & communication online, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2014
ISSN 1618-0747




Rune Ottosen
Underreporting the legal aspects of drone strikes in international conflicts: A case study of how Aftenposten and The New York Times cover drone strike

The purpose of this paper is to investigate, through content analyses of articles in The New York Times and the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, how these papers have reported on the legal aspects of drone strikes in international conflicts. Drones have been deployed in US military operations at least since the October 2001 air strikes in Afghanistan. Using critical discourse analysis and framing theory, selected texts were examined in which the two newspapers reported on the topic of drone strikes. Drawing on a report of an April 2010 hearing in the US House of Representatives, this paper discusses the legality of deploying drones in international conflicts. The author concludes that in their reportage on US drone strikes the newspapers failed as watchdogs for the relevant legal issues.


  englischer Volltext  

The author:
Rune Ottosen is a political scientist and journalist, and Professor of Journalism at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. He has published widely on a wide range of topics, including Norwegian press history, the role of journalists and the media coverage of war and conflicts. Along with Stig Arne Nohrstedt, he is a co-editor and author of several books, among them Global War – Local Views: Media Images of the Iraq War (2005) and the latest New Wars, New Media and New War journalism (forthcoming 2014). In 2010, he was one of the editors and a co-author of the four-volume Norwegian Press History, Norsk Presses historie (1767-2010). Together with Elisabeth Eide, in 2013 he co-edited The Longest War. Media Coverage of the Norwegian Military Presence in Afghanistan.