In times like these it becomes only too obvious that news has a mythical function. News producers fall readily into the pattern of creating heroes and villains but more importantly reading and writing the news is a cultural function that brings some people into the center and casts out others to the margins.
This is a very introductory essay (Download file) that I wrote last year on mythical constructs in the news. The theory section is very basic but the analysis of Australian coverage of the Bali bombing and of an Australian 60 Minutes episode may be of some interest to media watchers.
I am currently involved in more detailed research on the myths mobalised by news paper magazines.
For those interested in this type of analysis a couple of other links:
Annabel Lukin a Sydney linguist analyses the grammar of the war on terror
And NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen looks at Master Narratives in the news