The Road Home: How News Shapes the Reintegration of Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans to Civilian Life

Robert R. King : Media Studies

Mentor: Professor Jean Retzinger

Many breakthroughs have been made regarding the mental and physical challenges war veterans face. However, veterans face many other challenges when it comes to reintegrating back into civilian society. Robert will explore one aspect that helps create the social context that veterans must navigate upon their return. There is considerable evidence that news coverage can shape public opinion regarding many issues, one of which is the perception of soldiers and war veterans. Through a detailed content analysis of front-page newspaper stories about the wars, Robert will explore empirical truth of this matter. Additionally, he will conduct focus groups with veterans at UC Berkeley and attend a conference of Veterans Program administrators in Myrtle Beach, SC, in order to gauge veterans’ own perception of media’s affect on the reintegration process.