Date of Graduation

Fall 2016

Degree

Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Department

Graduate College

Committee Chair

David Romano

Keywords

journalism, Middle East, foreign policy, media, public opinion, impact bias, context

Subject Categories

International Relations | Journalism Studies

Abstract

This thesis is a critical examination into how American mainstream news media outlets often neglect to incorporate religious, cultural and historical context into their coverage of the Middle East. I show through my research and analysis that the news coverage of the Middle East, even at the highest echelons of American journalism, is often lacking in sophistication in terms of cultural and religious context, sometimes to the point of affecting its fairness and accuracy. The danger of this is that it has the power to grossly simplify and reduce to an “us versus them” frame an entire contingent of the global population: the Muslim world. I show that this fairness and accuracy is important because it directly impacts public opinion by promoting stereotypes and simplistic “frames” of storytelling, which, in turn, can affect the foreign policy making process by making it less democratic and potentially even altering the outcome of that policy.

Copyright

© Jennifer Lois Moore

Open Access

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