Global news media often facilitate opportunities for elite sources to set the agenda for national and global audiences. News values, globalisation, economic interdependence, news flows and propaganda are all significant factors affecting coverage. The New Zealand news media have extensively covered the second Iraq War from various perspectives, shaped by reporting restrictions, public opinion and ... [Show full abstract] editorial policy. This paper analyses the coverage by New Zealand’s three largest daily newspapers during the invasion phase of the war, exploring their reliance on global news agencies such as Reuters, AFP and AP and on elite British and US newspapers. The research aims to compare the newspapers’ dependence on global news agencies with other content providers, and to ascertain the extent of US and coalition domination of the news agenda. A content analysis of the three daily newspapers – The New Zealand Herald, The Dominion Post and The Press – reveals that US military and government sources dominated the news agenda through various media management strategies. The findings of this research also demonstrate the dominance of the global news agencies and US and UK publications as main content providers in the war coverage, and accordingly able to set the news agenda for news retailers and their readers across the globe.