This week has seen me downloading frankly ridiculous amounts of both archival and current articles from the NYT and slowly but surely making my way through them. I think I’ve reached the extent of my research — if you imagine it as a circle, it’s gotten to be as big as it’s going to get, and now I’m starting to fill it in.
When reading through primary sources — any sources, really — in a project of this nature, annotating is, of course, a given, but in order to synthesize what the NYT has written about the Six-Days’ War during the conflict and 50 years later, I need to do more.
For that, my best option is to navigate into slightly uncharted territory and create what’s called a network.
I think of networks as concept maps, composed of “nodes” (ideas or themes found in one article) and “links” (connections across articles, for my purposes). T. Olga and I are talking about how to fill in a visual network that will show the interconnections between the articles we’ve selected, such as:
In which articles different key actors in this situation are mentioned (e.g. Gamal Abd El Nasser, president of the then UAR, or Israeli Foreign Minister to the UN Abba Eban)?
What are those actors associated with that characterizes them in a certain way?
Which stories cover the conflict itself, and what specific angle do they take?
What news do they present on diplomatic negotiations between key nations such as the then Soviet Union, Israel, Jordan, France, or the UAR?
Our goal in creating this visual network is to — as the title of this post says — synthesize and condense information from hundreds of separate news articles into a coherent framing of the Six Days War by a single — though pervasive and trusted — American media outlet.
These are some of the headlines (front page headlines, mind) that the NYT — printing “All The News That’s Fit To Print” — published from May 26 to June 30, 1967:
The reason why I’m also looking at current articles is because June, 2017 was the 50-year anniversary of the Six-Days’ War. My hope is that authors writing in 2017 about the Six-Days’ War in 1967 will identify these historical events — possibly calling for more research,
which is just lovely, it’s fine, it’s not like I’m drowning in sources already — and help me to honor the historical component of my paper. The next step after developing a coherent framing of the Six-Days’ War will hopefully be to explain this specific framing using significant historical events that would have been in Americans’ recent memory in June, 1967 — with respect to President Nasser, the event might be the Suez Crisis in 1956, for Premier Alexsei Kosygin it may be the manifestations of the escalating Cold War in the U.S.
In other news, I found an excellent source on an overview of media framing from a Master’s thesis from Carleton University (pages 30-53) — I think it’s useful reading for anybody.
At this time next week, I hope to be writing from a place of crafting a diagram for the paper itself, but for now, it’s buckling down for winter, part 2.