The Impact of Foreign Policy on News Coverage; Press Portrayal of the US and the UK in the Reform and Conservative Eras


This article investigates the press portrayal of foreign relations developments under the influence of the dominant discourse in foreign policy. For this purpose, the representation of the United States of America and the United Kingdom in Iranian newspapers were studied during the reform and conservative eras. In this study, content analysis was used as the method of research. The data were gathered, coded and inserted into the SPSS for descriptive and analytical tables. In the descriptive section, variables such as “the western country highlighted”, “subject of foreign news”, “news stance regarding Iran-USA ties”, “news stance regarding Iran-UK ties”, “image of the US in news” and “image of the UK in news” were studied. In the analytical section, the statistical relationship between the press portrayal of the US/UK and the political period was investigated. Findings indicate that the press in Iran are under the influence of the dominant foreign policy discourse when covering news about the US and the UK, and portray these two Western countries in accordance with the official foreign policy of Iran in each political period. During the reform era, the press portrayed the US and the UK positively in line with the détente policy of the reformist government; however during the conservative era, , a negative image was portrayed by the press as relations between Iran and the West deteriorated.