The Fires of Fear: Framing of Religion in
Media Coverage of Terry Jones and
“International Burn a Qur’an Day”
A Case Study...
Media and Religion
Islam Christianity
Both
• More coverage in
recent years
(since 9.11.01)
• Generally
negative press
•“Journalists in genera...
Theoretical Background
Framing (Entman, 1993)
• “Particular definitions, interpretations and
opinions of morality” (Entman, 2003)
• How the media...
Research Questions
RQ1: How did news media frame the
intersection of Christianity and Islam in the
Terry Jones case?
RQ2: ...
Methods
• Textual Analysis
• 3-Week Period (Aug. 28 – Sept. 18, 2010)
BROADCAST
Local
• WAWS FOX 30 (Jacksonville, Fla.)
• WCJB TV-20 (Gainesville, Fla.)
National
• FOX News Channel
• CNN
• MS...
PRINT
Local
National
Results
Themes (Implicit & Explicit)
• Heroes & Villains
• Victimization
• “Othering”
• Constitutionality vs. Morality
• Fear
 Fr...
Broadcast Findings
Local
• Distancing of Terry Jones from
Christianity & from local community
• Local Muslims as victims
• Resource availabil...
National
• De-legitimization of Terry Jones and
extremist Christianity
• Journalist bias and criticism of Jones’s faith
• ...
Print Findings
Local
• Limited sources
• Victimization of Islam
• Differentiating Terry Jones from Christianity,
distancing Dove Outreach...
National
• America as noble, just, brave and
protective vs. Islam as extreme and
temperamental
• Terry Jones as insignific...
Timeline
Overall Findings
• National vs. Local
• Local: more personal, community
• National: international crisis, ties
into Americ...
Overall Findings
• Media reporting on media
•Social media power
•Sharing & combining stories
• Islam still fits into Us vs...
Implications
• Coverage:
• Islam
• Christianity
• Free Speech
• Media outlets & Journalists
• Timing and confluence of new...
Thank You
Questions?
Jaime Riccio
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University
jriccio@syr.edu
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"The Fires of Fear" - ICA Presentation

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Presented at the 2012 annual International Communication Association conference in Boston, MA.

Published in: Education, Spiritual, Business
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  • RQ1: How did the news media frame the intersection of Christianity and Islam in the Terry Jones case?*Use definition in paper on notecard
  • "The Fires of Fear" - ICA Presentation

    1. 1. The Fires of Fear: Framing of Religion in Media Coverage of Terry Jones and “International Burn a Qur’an Day” A Case Study Jaime Riccio S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University jriccio@syr.edu
    2. 2. Media and Religion
    3. 3. Islam Christianity Both • More coverage in recent years (since 9.11.01) • Generally negative press •“Journalists in general tend to present religious groups as deviant, authoritarian, or mired in conflict.” (Abbot, 2006) •Traditionally widespread public interest • Not often covered • Seen usually in a political setting
    4. 4. Theoretical Background
    5. 5. Framing (Entman, 1993) • “Particular definitions, interpretations and opinions of morality” (Entman, 2003) • How the media shapes a topic • Audiences think along lines proposed
    6. 6. Research Questions RQ1: How did news media frame the intersection of Christianity and Islam in the Terry Jones case? RQ2: How did local news outlets differ from national news outlets in the framing of the Qur’an burning? RQ3: How did print news outlets differ from broadcast news outlets in the framing of the Qur’an burning?
    7. 7. Methods • Textual Analysis • 3-Week Period (Aug. 28 – Sept. 18, 2010)
    8. 8. BROADCAST Local • WAWS FOX 30 (Jacksonville, Fla.) • WCJB TV-20 (Gainesville, Fla.) National • FOX News Channel • CNN • MSNBC • CBS News • ABC News
    9. 9. PRINT Local National
    10. 10. Results
    11. 11. Themes (Implicit & Explicit) • Heroes & Villains • Victimization • “Othering” • Constitutionality vs. Morality • Fear  Framing Strategies
    12. 12. Broadcast Findings
    13. 13. Local • Distancing of Terry Jones from Christianity & from local community • Local Muslims as victims • Resource availability • Local security issue • Constitutionality & Ethics – “right vs. right”
    14. 14. National • De-legitimization of Terry Jones and extremist Christianity • Journalist bias and criticism of Jones’s faith • Footage of a “violent Islam” • Connection to the Islamic community center (“Ground Zero Mosque”)
    15. 15. Print Findings
    16. 16. Local • Limited sources • Victimization of Islam • Differentiating Terry Jones from Christianity, distancing Dove Outreach Center from Gainesville • Constitutionality & Ethics – “right vs. right”
    17. 17. National • America as noble, just, brave and protective vs. Islam as extreme and temperamental • Terry Jones as insignificant, separate, absurd • “Source Shopping” • Both papers covered similarly • Strong focus on religion
    18. 18. Timeline
    19. 19. Overall Findings • National vs. Local • Local: more personal, community • National: international crisis, ties into American fear •Print vs. Broadcast • Print: implicit, descriptive • Broadcast: explicit, visual
    20. 20. Overall Findings • Media reporting on media •Social media power •Sharing & combining stories • Islam still fits into Us vs. Them • “Terry Jones hijacked Christianity, as Al Qaeda hijacked Islam” (NYT)
    21. 21. Implications • Coverage: • Islam • Christianity • Free Speech • Media outlets & Journalists • Timing and confluence of news stories • Influence of new technologies
    22. 22. Thank You Questions? Jaime Riccio S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University jriccio@syr.edu

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