Semester of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Manship School of Mass Communication

Document Type



The United States launched a military invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003. The Pentagon during this time permitted journalists to live, travel, and report alongside the military, which impacted the coverage. On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine, starting the largest war in Europe since World War II. This conflict captured the attention of U.S. news organizations, giving the conflict unprecedented levels of coverage even when compared to U.S. involved conflicts. This thesis explores the coverage of the invasions in Iraq and Ukraine by NPR. This study uses qualitative content analysis to examine NPR’s Morning Edition. NPR is one of the most listened to radio networks in the United States, with the show selected having the largest weekly audience. Two timeframes are used to analyze these materials: March 19, 2003, to April 16, 2003, and February 24, 2022, to March 24, 2022. This study will use four categories of coverage: length of coverage, hosts and correspondents, types of stories and reoccurring themes, and use of sources. This study shows how media coverage differed between conflicts with Morning Edition devoting significantly more coverage to Iraq and using different sources, along with frames to cover the war. Digital journalism captured content during the Ukraine war that was previously unattainable in prior conflicts. This will likely continue to advance and change radio reporting from areas of conflict across the world.



Committee Chair

Hamilton, John Maxwell

Available for download on Thursday, April 01, 2027