Pockets of resistance

British news media, war and theory in the 2003 invasion of Iraq

By Piers Robinson, Peter Goddard, Katy Parry and Craig Murray

Pockets of resistance


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  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8445-4
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: September 2010
  • BIC Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies, LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Journalism, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, Reportage & Collected Journalism, Society & social sciences / International relations, Film and Media, Politics & government, International relations


For scholars of media and war, the 2003 invasion of Iraq is a compelling case to study. As part of President Bush's 'war on terror', the invasion was the most controversial British foreign policy decision since Suez, and its ramifications and aftermath have rarely been far from the news. In the many political and public debates regarding this conflict, arguments over the role of the media have been omnipresent. For some, media coverage was biased against the war, for others it became a cheerleader for the invasion. Where does the truth lie? Drawing upon a uniquely-detailed and rich content and framing analysis of television and press coverage, and on interviews with some of the journalists involved, Pockets of Resistance provides an authoritative assessment of how British news media reported the 2003 Iraq invasion and also of the theoretical implications of this case for our understanding of wartime media-state relations.

Pockets of Resistance examines the successes and failures of British television news as it sought to attain independence under the difficult circumstances of war, and describes and explains the emergence of some surprisingly vociferous anti-war voices within a diverse national press.


'Richly detailed and engagingly presented . It is a "must read" for anyone who wants to know how the 24-7 news system covers national security crises, and why that coverage takes the shape that it does.'

'Pockets of Resistance . intervenes into the heart of contemporary debates about media, democracy and legitimized killing and death. An important new landmark and essential vantage point on the contested field of media and war studies.'

'Pockets of Resistance is a first-rate study of Iraq war reporting - broad, rigorous and insightful in the way it surveys British coverage of the war. It paints a complex picture of war reporting that clarifies our understanding of the relation between media and political elites during wartime. Without a doubt, it is one of the most ambitious and important works published to date on media and war.'


Preface and acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Mobilising for battle: The news media and war from Vietnam to Iraq
3. Theorising and analysing media performance in wartime
4. Placing coverage of the invasion in context
5. 'Supporting our boys in battle': Evidence for supportive coverage and the elite-driven model
6. 'Independence, diversity and professional autonomy': Evidence for negotiated and oppositional coverage
7. Case studies from the invasion of Iraq: Jessica Lynch, Ali Abbas and the anti-war movement
8. Conclusion: Patterns of support, negotiation and opposition
A. Further information about the content and framing analysis
B. Examples of the detailed criteria provided to coders for assessing thematic frames


Piers Robinson is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Manchester. Peter Goddard is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool. Katy Parry is Research Assistant in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool. Craig Murray is head of Media Analysis at Opoint AS, Norway. Philip M. Taylor is Professor of Internal Communications at the Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds

Pockets of resistance

By Piers Robinson, Peter Goddard, Katy Parry, Craig Murray

Paperback £16.99 / $24.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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