Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Semati, Mehdi

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication


Journalism; Communication; International relations


This research examines the American news coverage of the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West, known as Iran deal, in broadcast news programs of ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, using "indexing" theory as its theoretical framework. Previous research has shown that the debate surrounding foreign policy issues are indexed based on the range of debates in Washington, D.C. The results showed that Iran deal debate in the news coverage of broadcast channels tended to index based on the position of officials within the government, notably congressional and executive branch sources. The coverage included debates that involved both consensus and conflict among elites in the executive branch and the United States congress. The congressional sources were the most dominant source before the deal and the overall frequency of negative statements exceeded the positive ones. Furthermore, the results indicate strong evidence of power indexing in the coverage of this issue. The significant presence of Israel as a source of opposition before the deal, and the prevalence of presidential candidates as an oppositional source in the after deal period both corroborated the notion of power indexing in the media coverage.


Advisors: Mehdi Semati.||Committee members: Bill Cassidy; Mary Lynn Henningsen.||Includes bibliographical references.


52 pages




Northern Illinois University

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