Media Studies – The Bin Laden Story

The Bin Laden Story




Today, a week after the attack on Abottabad, Pakistan and the death of Osama Bin Laden there are still many news stories and topics surrounding this event. F or this week’s blog assignment I am comparing the media coverage of this event on an American news station, CNN, and a Canadian news station, CBC.

When first logging on to these station’s websites there was a big difference. On CNN there are many mentions of Osama Bin Laden and his death but on CBC there is only 1 or 2. This shows us explicitly that the Americans care a lot more about this story then Canadians. On CNN there were headlines like “Obama acted on 50/50 odds to get Bin Laden” and “Dog used to hunt Bin Laden.” There was even one that was “Osama’s youngest bride tells all.” All of these headlines show us that Americans are so obsessed with this story that they will search every detail and present anything they can to keep talking about him. On the other hand CBC only had a few headlines about Osama like “Osama had support in Pakistan; Obama.” and “U.S wants to talk to Osama’s 3 widows.” The rest of the headlines were revolved more around hockey. This shows us that Canadians care a lot less about Osama’s death and they reference the United States so much that they aren’t even Canadian opinions.

On CNN, there are a lot more constructions of Obama, the U.S and Pakistan because there are so many different stories on them.  First there is a photo of Obama and the headline states that he acted on 50/50 odds. This surprisingly for an American news site doesn’t put Obama in the best light but most other headlines encourage Obama and portray him as a hero. Also with Obama, the United States are also being portrayed as heroes for finally bringing down this man of evil. Now for Pakistan it’s a different story. Headlines on CNN are stating that Pakistan helped Osama and makes the country of Pakistan seem evil also.


On CBC there are a few headlines about Osama and as I said before they also reference the United States or Obama. This shows that Obama and the U.S are responsible for that attack and that Canada had nothing to do with it. This is not a bad thing for the United States it’s just showing that Canada doesn’t care as much and that the Americans are the ones to be acknowledged for the take down of Osama.

In total there are about 10 headlines about Osama on the main page of CNN. They fall under the categories of travel, opinion, health, politics, the world and the United States. Also the top 5 stories are about Osama or Pakistan or Al-Qaeda. Compared to CBC’s 2 headlines about Osama that fall under world stories, Americans care a lot more about this attack. This is obvious because the Americans have the most hatred towards Osama and their government took him down.  Americans are proud to be American because of this event and they will suck it until its dry, getting as much coverage as they can. Right now all they want is encouragement and recognition for their success and they will for a long time. I enjoy though the fact that we Canadians care a lot more about our hockey tournaments.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ms. Szewchuk
    May 10, 2011 @ 18:38:46

    Good analysis of the differences in coverage. One week later, this story is still all over the American news, while most Canadian news outlets have reduced their coverage and are now talking about other things Canadians care about. It’s also interesting to compare the language in some of the headlines you cited. “Dogs used to hunt Bin Laden” and “Osama’s youngest bride tells all” are sensational and stress how different this man was from most Americans, while “Osama had support in Pakistan; Obama.” and “U.S wants to talk to Osama’s 3 widows” are more neutral in tone and content. Consider the emotional response audiences may have to “youngest bride” and “hunted by dogs” (lots) compared to “had support” and “three widows.” (less)


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