Constructing an image of the United States in the British and French editorials about WikiLeaks

Abstract: In today’s globalized world a country’s image is an important consideration because it can influence that country’s politics and economy (Shimko, 1991;Viosca et al., 2005). Scholars have noted that the news media are considered to be major players in creating national images and swaying public perception of foreign countries (Entman, 2008; Golan & Lee, 2004). The present study examined United States’ image typologies in news editorials in Britain and France. Using image theory as a theoretical foundation, this present study employed in-depth qualitative thematic analysis of editorials in The Guardian and Le Monde covering the release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. The overarching U.S. image revealed by editorials did not exactly fit in with the normative images of ally, enemy, complex, imperialist, and colonial/dependent. It did, however, approach the complex image that entailed elements of the ally and imperial image.