New Zealand Media Constructions of Islam and Muslims: An Analysis of Selected Newspapers Between 2005-2006
Kabir, Shah M. Nister J.
This study investigates the representation of Islam and Muslims in three New Zealand newspapers—the Otago Daily Times (ODT), The Press (Press) and The New Zealand Herald (NZH)—in order to identify how Islam and Muslims are socially constructed in these newspapers’ frames. The investigation includes news and non-news items. News coverage, which is primarily sourced from international news agencies, is supportive towards Western elite agendas that espouse the Islamic threat of the Orientalist Other. This study argues that the news stories promote civilizational clash, namely, between Islam and the West; and that these stories present a predominantly negative image of Islam and Muslims, namely, that Islam is a threat. However, a pluralistic frame is identified in these newspapers’ opinion items, such as in their editorials. The ODT is primarily positive in its opinion pieces when discussing and constructing Islam and Muslims’ issues. Similarly, a positive image of Islam and Muslims is predominant in the opinion pieces appearing in the NZH. In other words, the representation of opinion pieces appearing in the NZH, with a few exceptions, contradicts the international news frame. In contrast, opinions appearing in the Press construct overwhelmingly negative images of Islam and Muslims. In other words, the negative stereotypical images of Islam and Muslims in the Press are reinforced in both news and opinion pieces.
Advisor: Bourk, Michael J.; Craig, Geoff; Kearsley, Geoff
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Media, Film and Communication
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: New Zealand; Muslims; Newspapers; Minority; Orientalism; clash of culture
Research Type: Thesis