The Press and 'Unprecedented' Presidential Travel: Comparing the Clinton and Obama Visits to Ghana in the Ghanaian Times and the New York Times

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Department or Administrative Unit

Political Science

Publication Date



Presidential trips abroad are supposedly important public diplomacy, and public relations, activities. Yet little is known about how presidential trips abroad are covered by the mass media, especially in the foreign “host” countries. This study examines media coverage of two “ground-breaking” presidential visits to the same region and country: Bill Clinton’s 1998 and Barack Obama’s 2009 trips to Ghana in West Africa. It utilizes a “double comparative case study” approach by comparing these two events by one major American media outlet - the New York Times - with a leading local newspaper in the host nation, the Ghanaian Times.Various factors, such as newsworthiness criteria, ownership influences, the political substance of the visits themselves, and the role and context of the two countries in the global geopolitical system are used as tools to analyze the coverage.


This conference paper was originally published in APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper