Media Framing of Islam in the Coverage of Terrorism in Kenya
This data analysed the media framing of Islam in the subsequent coverage of the 2015 Garissa University terror attack in Kenya using framing theory. A quantitative research approach and descriptive content analysis research design was adopted from the Daily Nation and The Standard newspapers. Data was captured from 3rd April 2015 to 10th April 2015, where 112 stories were selected for analysis. Specifically, the research sought to determine the tone of Islam in subsequent coverage of the Garissa University terror attack during the first seven days. Secondly, it examined the prominence of stories touching on Islam during subsequent coverage of the Garissa University Terror Attack in the first seven days. Third, it examined sources in subsequent coverage of the Garissa University terror attack in the first 7 days. The study found that the two newspapers framed Islam in a neutral tone during the subsequent coverage of the Garissa University terror attack. This is a significant deviation from past studies that established Islam is negatively framed during newspaper coverage of terror attacks. The study also found out that the two newspapers gave stories with a religious connotation a higher prominence. Further, the study established that official sources, including security agencies and government officials, were the main sources in subsequent coverage of the Garissa University attack. The study concludes that Kenyan media has moved from a negative to a neutral tone when covering Islam during terror attacks. It also deduces that stories touching on Islam were highly prioritised, drawing a higher prominence. Also, despite official sources appearing predominantly in the initial coverage, there was a shift towards non-official sources during the subsequent coverage. The study recommends that media houses fortify training in terrorism reporting and writing skills and that stakeholders emphasise ethics during coverage of terror attacks in Kenya.
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