Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Amelia Arsenault

Second Advisor

Michael Bruner

Third Advisor

Shawn Powers

Fourth Advisor

Alexa Robertson


Over the last two decades, a variety of states such as China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, France, South Korea, and Japan have funded 24-hour news stations, called international broadcasters (IB), to frame their policies for foreign publics. While a variety of scholars have acknowledged the proliferation of state-funded media channels, they have also elided key features of IBs. Research in contra-flow theory, strategic narrative theory, and public diplomacy analyze IBs as tools of state power intended to promote state interests, but do not analyze content. Meanwhile, scholars of global media examine IBs as part of the global media system, but omit the broadcaster’s state funding. Building on these complementary but often disparate groups of inquiry into international broadcasting, this dissertation provides this dissertation provides a comparative analysis of the economic coverage of four international broadcasters: Russia Today, China Central Television, Al-Jazeera English, and Deutsche Welle. Using this data, the analysis assesses the role of these broadcasters in the projection of state power. Using a mixed-methodological approach combining content analysis and critical discourse analysis, I compare economic newsmagazine coverage to official state positions on economic issues, which allows an empirical and systematic test of the extent to which IB content conforms to the respective state’s economic policy. Because specialist economic news caters to elite audiences, this dissertation also analyze regular newscast coverage of economic protests reveal the gap, if any, between IB’s coverage of economics and thereby determine if state interests determine coverage.