Policy Certainty and the CNN Effect

26 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2020

Date Written: September 1 , 2009


In the debate over media influence on foreign policy, also known as the CNN effect, it is widely assumed that media influence is only at play under the condition of policy uncertainty. When policy is certain, then media is believed to have no impact. This paper challenges this neo-orthodoxy by arguing that unexpected media images and frames can be the basis for turning a certain policy into an uncertain one by changing the political atmosphere and negotiating dynamics within a competitive foreign policy decision-making apparatus.

Keywords: CNN effect, media influence, foreign policy

Suggested Citation

Bahador, Babak, Policy Certainty and the CNN Effect (September 1 , 2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1451383

Babak Bahador (Contact Author)

University of Canterbury ( email )

Ilam Road
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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