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Title of Thesis

US print media and portrayal of Muslim World. A case study of newsweek and Time ( 1991-2001)

Author(s)

Shahzad Ali

Institute/University/Department Details
Department of Mass Communication / Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
Session
2009
Subject
Mass Communication
Number of Pages
478
Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
US, print media, Portrayal, Muslim, World, Study, Newsweek, Time, 1991, 2001, US Allies, Negative, Coverage, Western, World

Abstract
The total population of Muslims around the world is approximately 1.2 billion. It means that every fifth person on this planet earth is Muslim. As well as they (Muslims) are majority in 57 countries of the world. It was found that Western and American elite media misrepresented and inaccurately portrayed Islam and Muslim world. The anti-Islamic media campaign has reached to enormous proportion with the world wide dissipation of communism, particularly with demise of communism in former USSR. The dissertation investigated the coverage and portrayal of twelve Muslim countries by Newsweek and Time during the given period from 1991-2001. In this connection, the twelve Muslims countries were placed in three categories on the basis of their nature of relations with USA. In each category, four Muslim countries were included:
1. US Allies (Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia & Turkey)
2. US Enemies (Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran & Libya)
3. Neutral Countries (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia & Pakistan)
Moreover, six hypotheses were developed and tested. It is pertinent to mention in this crux of the study the dissertation is comprised of seven chapters as well as the study was theoretically linked with propaganda model of Herman and Chomsky.
It was found that 1943 articles about Muslim countries (35) were published in 1098 issues of the both magazines during the time period of 11 years (1991-2001). In this connection, the content analysis of 219 articles of twelve Muslim countries would be undertaken. The findings indicated that 107 articles of Newsweek pertaining to the twelve Muslim countries were analyzed, it was found that all these countries received greater negative coverage (31.84%, 1794 sentences) as compared to ratio of the positive coverage (12.79%, 721 sentences). Newsweek carried 5634 sentences about Muslim countries. Similarly, the content analyses of 112 articles of the Time related to the twelve Muslim countries were undertaken. The magazine carried 5965 sentences of which 12.65% (755) sentences and 29.50% (1760) sentences were positive and negative respectively. It means that the proportion of negative coverage (29.50%) of the Muslim countries was greater than the ratio of positive coverage (12.65%) in the Time. On the whole, the both magazines carried 11546 sentences, of which 30.77% (3553) sentences and 12.64% (1460) sentences were negative and positive respectively.
It was, therefore, concluded that overall ratio of negative coverage (30.77%) was greater than the proportion of positive coverage (12.64%). The findings indicted that except hypothesis no. 2, all remaining hypotheses were strongly supported. It is pertinent to mention here that out of the twelve Muslim countries, Iraq was the only Muslim country which received zero percent positive coverage, while on the other hand; Jordan received maximum positive coverage, which was 54.48% (528) sentences out of total 969 sentences. Similarly, Afghanistan and Indonesia were the countries which received maximum negative coverage. On the whole, the total negative coverage of Afghanistan and Indonesia was 57.08% (572) sentences and 57.08% (580) sentences respectively. The findings also depicted that 107 articles of Newsweek about the twelve Muslim countries were selected for content analysis of which 17, 32, and 58 articles were favorable, unfavorable and neutral respectively .Similarly out of 112 articles of the Time related to the Muslim countries of which 12, 34, 66 articles were favorable, unfavorable and neutral respectively. It was found that like Newsweek ratio of unfavorable articles was greater as compared to favorable articles in Time. On the whole, it was found that out of 219 articles about Muslim countries in the both magazines were analyzed of which 29, 66, 124 articles were favorable, unfavorable and neutral respectively.
In nutshell, it is concluded that portrayal of all (twelve) Muslim countries by Newsweek and the Time was negative as compare to positive portrayal. Moreover, it was found that the language of the articles of the both magazines was very provocative; strong verbs and superlative degrees were used to depict the distorted image of Islam, Muslims and Muslim world. The words like radicalism, extremism and fanaticism, fundamentalism, terrorist, extremist, militants and violent were found to be linked with three other words Muslim, Islam and Islamic. Portrayal of Muslim world was investigated in light of the propaganda model of Herman and Chomsky. In this connection, slanting and framing was explored. Moreover, it was also found that manufacturing consent factor played significant contribution regarding the direction of US media. It was proved that elite media of USA served the goals of American Foreign Policy. In other words, American mainstream media’s performance was driven or dictated by the state’s political communication regime and according to the priorities set by the White House, Pentagon or Foreign Office.
In the last part of the thesis, it was recommended that both magazines should adopt objective and impartial policy about the coverage of Muslim world as well as the both magazines should play their constructive role for cross cultural understanding between Muslim world and the United States. It was also suggested that the Muslim world should systematically utilize the power of mass media: (Newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, motion pictures and internet -online journalism), presentational media/interpersonal communication tools, so that true, accurate and solid information related to Islam, Muslims countries could be disseminated to the Western World.

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3,055 KB
S. No. Chapter Title of the Chapters Page Size (KB)
1 0 CONTENTS

 

vii
94 KB
2

1

INTRODUCTION 1
116 KB
3 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE 14
233 KB
4 3 DETERMINANTS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY FORMATION: MASS MEDIA OR WHITE HOUSE 72
161 KB
5 4 RELATIONS OF THE MUSLIM COUNTRIES WITH THE UNITED STATES 101
184 KB
6 5 HISTORY & EDITORIAL POLICY OF NEWSWEEK AND TIME 141
170 KB
7 6 METHOD OF THE RESEARCH 161
140 KB
8 7 CONTENT ANALYSIS OF US ALLIES, ENEMIES AND NEUTRAL COUNTRIES 176
804 KB
9 8 FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 361
346 KB
10 9 ANNEXURE & BIBLIOGRAPHY

428


1,522 KB