Faculty Sponsor

melanie trexler


Arts and Sciences


Theology/Global Service

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-23-2016


A current insecurity embattling the international community is the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), a terrorist organization contending to establish a caliphate in the Middle East. However, splinter factions of the Islamic State have broadened the group's violence directive toward Western states, prompting Western powers to engage in strategies to counter the terrorist organization. Subsequent to the expansive nature of the Islamic States’ attacks, this study undertakes a comparative media framing analysis to interpret the media coverage of the Islamic State through the lenses of contrasting prominent Western and regional Middle Eastern media publications: USA Today and Al Jazeera English. Evaluating journalistic articles published in reference to the Islamic State from September 30, 2015 to November 1, 2015[i], the study will evaluate the ways in which the respective media publications headlines and news articles represent the terrorist organization. This study hypothesizes that the rhetorical framework of these media publications will indicate a demarcation to portrayals of the Islamic State: Al Jazeera English adopts a thematic frame approach, while USA Today adopts an episodic frame. These frames demonstrate how various media outlets are countering terrorism through print.

[i] This data range was chosen due to devastatingly subsequent attacks orchestrated by the Islamic State: the destruction of the World Heritage site, Palmyra, the Ankara peace bombings, as well as the increased involvement of foreign actors in Syria.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

A senior global service major, Marie Chetcuti's academic concentration in the international arena afforded her opportunities to study abroad. Whilst studying in Jordan, within a region embattled by violent conflict and a proliferating refugee crisis, Marie became enthralled with analyzing conflicts. Employed as a news intern for a Middle Eastern media outlet, she garnered a passion for understanding the media’s capacity to disseminate information and construct portrayals of the international arena.