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News Frames of Al-Jazeera Channel’s Coverage of Religious Armed Groups in the Syrian Crisis (Analytical Study of the period 2013-2018)

Lana Kazkaz

Abstract


The present study aims at exploring the characteristics of the Arabic-speaking Al-Jazeera Channel’s coverage of extremist religious groups taking part in the Syrian crisis in the period 2013-2018. The examination includes the news frames adopted and the main editorial features of relevant news content, leading to conclude the channel’s editorial policy towards religious groups fighting in Syria.

The importance of this study comes amid a conflict environment filled with wars, fighting and regional interventions, at the same time a significant growth in the Arab television media industry, as the number of Arab satellite channels at the end of 2015 became more than 1400 satellite channels, and the political and media competition increased compared to its contribution in leading the polarization.

The descriptive method is adopted, using a special tool to analyze the news coverage content of the Syrian crisis. The analysis employs complex sampling in an appropriate/purposeful form, then a systematic/random form. Three major events are chosen in the dilemma along with fifteen TV reports for each according to the closest coverage model to reality, making a total of 45 news reports.

It is found that Al-Jazeera’s coverage of such groups is more affected by the conflict than political and other human frames. In reporting the Syrian conflict, the channel tries to differentiate between these organizations and the IS. The same even applies to the use of professional standards by covering them more than the general conflict itself, particularly with regard to the multiplicity of sources and separation between opinion and news. Al-Jazeera, also went to activating new methods of dealing with sources as a result of the inability of Al-Jazeera journalists to be present in the Syrian interior, and the most important of these methods is relying on the citizen journalist style, as the channel developed this method within a network of citizen reporters in addition to the eyewitness method.

 


Keywords


Arab Spring, conflict in Syria, extremist religious groups, impact of Al-Jazeera, Media frames.

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References


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