Reporting Bias in Coverage of Iran Protests by Global News Agencies

Oluseyi Adegbola, Sherice Gearhart, Janice Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study analyzed the reporting of protests in Iran from late December 2017 to early January 2018 by global news agencies in the US (AP), UK (Reuters), France (AFP), China (Xinhua), and Russia (TASS), through a content analysis of 369 reports. Results showed significant variations in the portrayal of issues, diagnosis of causes, moral evaluations, and treatment recommendations among these agencies. Xinhua's reporting, advocating for maintenance of the status quo in Iran, differed markedly from Western agencies which gave more attention to calls for political change, especially in privately-owned agencies based in democratic nations. The study also noted a general similarity in the use of sources across agencies, but state-owned agencies lacked protester perspectives in their reporting. The findings suggest that national interests and/or ownership may influence the reporting by global news agencies on foreign protests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-157
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Foreign news
  • global news agencies
  • media framing
  • wire services

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