Copy, Edit, Paste: Comparing news coverage of war with official military accounts

Oren Livio, Shani Cohen-Yechezkely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent research on the news coverage of war and conflict has argued that journalists maintain more professional independence and are more critical of the government and military than in the past. At the same time, critiques that during wartime journalists rally around the flag and serve as mouthpieces for nationalist propaganda persist. Given these opposing views, we examine the ways in which three Israeli online newspapers covered the 2014 Gaza War and compare this coverage to posts on the Israel Defense Forces’ official social media pages. Through close discursive analysis of legitimation and referential strategies, the use of reported speech, transitivity, voice, and modality, we demonstrate both the great ideological similarities between news discourse and military public relations, and the ways in which journalists transform the authoritative, formal voice characteristic of official texts into the more personalized, emotional voice of media discourse. We discuss our findings as reflective of the complementary influence of journalists’ ideological presuppositions, professional rituals, and commercial constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-713
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - 4 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Israel
  • Palestine
  • conflict news
  • discourse analysis
  • sources
  • war coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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