Framing Wars and Conflicts: Manipulation, Misrepresentation, and Distortion


  • Mohamed Kirat
  • Radouane Slamene


This paper discusses the crisis in media theory when interpreting the behavior of journalists and media institutions during times of war and crises. It observes a compromise of the principles of journalistic freedom and objectivity. It notes the divergence in media practices during war compared to normal circumstances, often aligning media coverage with the stance of the country involved in the war. Journalists become "patriotic" and biased towards their country, forsaking objectivity, neutrality, professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards in their work.

The study adopts the Market Model and the Manipulative Model as theoretical frameworks and relies on a case study approach, examining media coverage during the Second Gulf War (1990-1991), the Afghanistan War, the events of September 11, 2001, and finally, the Third Gulf War (2003) – the American-British war on Iraq. Key questions include the media coverage tendencies regarding the war on Iraq and the nature of pressures and violations imposed on journalists during their work.

The study's main hypotheses include the bias in favor of the home country in war coverage according to the Manipulative Model, as well as the blending and mixture between media, propaganda, public relations, psychological warfare, distortion, and a complete violation of the principles of media ethics and social responsibility.

The study's findings affirm that no media theory fully explains media practices during wars and conflicts. Additionally, the Manipulative Model explains how media institutions and communicators, during wars, are used by military, economic, and political powers for purposes of distortion, propaganda, psychological warfare, and disinformation.


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How to Cite

Kirat, M. ., & Slamene, R. . (2024). Framing Wars and Conflicts: Manipulation, Misrepresentation, and Distortion . Migration Letters, 21(3), 985–1000. Retrieved from