In the past few years, the deplorable acts of ISIS became headlines in the global media–the endless killings, the turning of innocent women into sex slaves, the release of a series of chilling videos that show the beheadings of British and American hostages. This coverage has elicited a wide range of reactions from media critics, with some saying the news media creates an increased fear and misunderstanding of Islam, or Islamophobia, through the saturated coverage.
Kris Boyle, assistant professor of the School of Communications at the Brigham Young University, and Jordan Mower, senior brand manager at iServe, examined the ways Western and non-Western media covered ISIS.
The authors analyzed 1,956 articles published in The New York Times, the Daily Mail (based in London) and Asharq Al-Awsat, a leading daily in Arab countries.
The Mail published the greatest number of articles (1,001 articles) followed by the Times (606 articles) and Asharq Al-Awsat (349 articles).
The Mail and Times used some form of “terror” in their stories more often than Asharq Al-Awsat. The Mail also used “militant” more frequently than the Times and Asharq Al-Awsat. The Mail used “military” significantly more than the Times and Asharq Al-Awsat.
Asharq Al-Awsat used the conflict-keywords less often than the other two organizations in its stories.
The Mail used conflict-based framing in its coverage, using many of the negative keywords. The Times mostly took a middle-of-the-road approach, choosing more objective framing in its coverage and not focusing as much on the conflict-based coverage. Asharq Al-Awsat appeared to go in the opposite direction of the conflict-based framing, instead framing ISIS as an extremist group on the fringes of traditional Islam and one that does not represent the overall population in the area.
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2NvrZV0
Boyle, K., & Mower, J. (2018). Framing terror: A content analysis of media frames used in covering ISIS. Newspaper Research Journal, 39(2) 205-219.