To be sure, the media and conflict have been studied from the perspective of a variety of mass media theories, including framing, critical discourse analysis, and others. While this research has been helpful in describing conflict coverage, it has not yet gone the next step: to assessing the impact of that coverage on the conflict itself. I see this as an interdisciplinary task, and in this Article, I propose that principles of conflict theory can be joined with mass communications research to take this next step, to explore and understand the question of the news media’s impact on conflict. In particular, teachings on the constructive and destructive qualities of conflict and on the escalation of conflict suggest ways in which the news media can influence conflict that it covers, and point to new avenues of empirical scholarship and theory development.

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