Press Freedom and Militarized Disputes
with John Oneal
As the United Kingdom examples illustrated, there appears to be a difference in the way the news outlets in free press countries treat the information coming from free press and restricted press countries during conflicts. This, in and of itself, could provide some very interesting avenues for further research into the biases and determinants of international news flows. Studies examining the biases inherent in the international flow of news have focused on region and distance ( Dominick , 1977; Rosenblum, 1970; Singer et al., 1991; Gaddy and Tanjong, 1986; Adams, 1986), and they have found modest to mixed results for the effect of geographic and social distances on levels of news coverage in the Western press. The differences in the flow of news between free presses might be complicating or obscuring some of the effects of distance and region. Other hypotheses concerning the content of the international flow of news and what gets covered could also be generated. For this study, it is important to return to the way in which these differences influence the foreign policy decision-making process and the effects it will have on international conflict.
For the leader of a free press state, the accepted legitimacy and greater volume of information from other free press regimes disrupts the leader's near monopoly on sources of news regarding a foreign conflict. When you take away the leader's opportunity to dominate the sources of coverage, you also reduce drastically the leader's expectation that he or she