Friends with Benefits: A Discourse Analysis on Framing US-Philippine Relations through Print Media’s Coverage of EDCA


This study examines discourse production in the reportage of foreign affairs. In early 2014, Philippines announced the planning and signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States. This research discusses vested interests of stakeholders, conflicting frames the print media used in their reportage, and representations of diplomatic concepts of friendship, peace and security in Philippines-United States foreign policy. The study ties together the use of critical discourse analysis, media diplomacy theory, postcolonial theory and framing analysis to unveil frames used by Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), The Philippine Star (PStar) and Manila Bulletin (MB) in representing these diplomatic concepts. It combines the results of coded print articles from March 15 to July 29, 2014, and coded official government documents. The study points out that (a) PDI’s reportage used conflicting frames while PStar and MB employed non-conflicting frames; (b) security is the main purpose for of EDCA but friendship exists because of the long-standing US-Philippine history that seeks to maintain international peace; and (c) US interests in deepening ties with the Philippines are to advance its strategy of Asia rebalance, thwart economic growth of China, and counter insurgency in the South. The need for EDCA was rationalized in light of the Philippine-China territorial dispute that the US pursued to reinforce military strength in the Asian region. Evaluating the power relations between the stakeholders is pertinent to achieve the study’s purpose of molding the Filipino populace as critical thinkers who are concerned of the society they live in.

Author Information
Beatrice Anne De Leon Malveda, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Philippines
Meryl Louise Torres Brown, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2015
Stream: Journalism

This paper is part of the MediAsia2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon