Center for Asia Pacific Studies
The Center is San Francisco’s academic gateway to the Asia Pacific, fostering and promoting innovative research, teaching and public programs.
This study analyzes the breaking news coverage of the United States press during the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Previously, scholars such as Robert Entman and Elisabeth Anker found that U.S. media melodramatically framed the September 11, 2001 attacks and constructed a “War on Terror” ideology. Working from that theoretical perspective, the author posits this ideology influenced U.S. reporters and their style of reportage about the Mumbai attacks, as did breaking news characteristics and general patterns within journalism, such as regionalization. Research findings suggest that U.S. media localized the Mumbai attacks by borrowing concepts from September 11 and the “War on Terror” frame. U.S. newspaper stories and broadcast reports produced uniform analyses through repetition of precedents such as association of Islam with violence and overreliance on U.S./Western official sources.
This commentary by an Indian citizen living in the San Francisco Bay Area is representative of the deeply personal feelings held by many Indians after the Mumbai attacks. It was solicited by one of the editors of Asia Pacific: Perspectives in order to provide a non-academic and subjective reflection about a local incident with regional and global repercussions. The views of the author are hers alone, as is the title of the piece.