The Media, the War on Terror, and the Public Sphere

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Erich Steinman

Reader 2

Ahmed Alwishah

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© 2017 Amanda LF Tapp


The media conflates and distorts in its coverage on the war on terror- simultaneously misrepresenting and constructing the political and historically complex conflict between the Middle East and the West. Due to the current social-political climate of increasing xenophobia and the normalisation of Islamophobia, this study attempts to expand previous studies conducted on the media in relation to the war on terror. This is a comparative quantitative analysis of media framing between a Western news source and an Arab news source, examining their coverage of the November 2015 Paris attack and the March 20th Sana’a, Yemen attack. The findings revealed a deep complexity and intertwining of the media and its representation on the war on terror: the U.S. news source engaged more so in forms of biased framing of when covering the Paris attack and held a Western gaze of superiority when covering the Yemen attack, while the Arab news source proved to be overall less biased but was found to be susceptible to Westernisation.

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