Agenda Setting of Iraq Image in Malaysian English Newspaper

  •  Hanaa Kadum Kassed    
  •  Che Su Mustaffa    


Mass media news on certain country itself can affect their image on society. The image that will appear could be positive, negative or neutral depending on the content in it. This study employs content analysis of Agenda Setting of Iraq image in Malaysian English newspapers indicated that NSTP and the Star. In total, 535 articles and news stories were obtained from three periods before, during and after the occupation of Iraq. Findings showed that the Agenda Setting for NSTP focused on the issue of "The Malaysia’s policy towards Iraq", "The US policy and the occupation of Iraq" and "The impact of war on Malaysia". While, the Star focused on "Iraq’s needs and suffering". In summary, the newspapers seem to take great care in transmitting images of other countries particularly the Islamic country, which could affect Malaysia and its neighbors politically, economically and socially. Thus it can be concluded that the media’s ownership position plays vital role in shaping countries image in media coverage. The current study indicated that the positive and neutral image of Iraq in NSTP are considered important to the Malaysian government to advance its domestic and foreign policies to Malaysians, and also due to its political and economic interests with Iraq which is a Muslim country. Contrarily, the Star seemed to oppose government policies but this opposition is marginal and issue specific in nature depending upon the involvement of Malaysia interests and intensity of the government media differences on those issues.

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