Asia Pacific Media Educator


This study examined media bias in covering international conflicts through a comparison of People’s Daily and The New York Times’s coverage of the 2001 incident in which a US surveillance plane collided with a Chinese fighter off China’s coast. Through a content analysis of 137 news reports and commentaries from People’s Daily and 81 from The New York Times on the incident, this study shows that despite differences between the two newspapers in terms of their political and media environments and journalistic traditions, they were not significantly different in terms of journalistic bias in covering the incident. Both papers were echoing their own government’s stand, and effectively facilitating the implementation of the diplomatic and political agenda of their own government.