The Portrayal of Muslim Women in Western Media. A Content Analysis of the New York Times and The Guardian
Women in general have been marginalized and represented with all sorts of images in the media. Specifically, when it comes to how muslim women are pictured especially in the western media, there have been different portrayals that researchers have come across during their multitudes of research studies. The present study is another addition to the already available literature on how muslim women are portrayed in the western media by content analyzing the portrayals in the New York times and the Guardian of the United Kingdom. In particular, the study seeks to examine the ways in which Muslim Women are portrayed in the New York Times and the Guardian’s news coverage as well as determining the frames that the two news organizations use in portraying Muslim women in coverage of their news stories regarding their affairs. The study adopted a qualitative content analysis and uses the framing theory to guide the discovery of the findings. 49 stories portraying muslim women in the different ways were discovered after perusing through the two online news organizations. The findings of the study indicate that muslim women in the two sampled news media are portrayed as terrorists specifically because of their dress code where on several occasions the news organizations refer to them as Al-Qaida’s and extremists in the way they practice their religion. Therefore, the major portrayal of muslim women lies on the negative aspects that are reported in the organization’s media stories. In addition, among the dominant themes in the two news media regarding the way the frame their stories while reporting on muslim women include being financially oppressed, terrorists, extremists, un educated, house wives and sexual objects for men. In the end, framing theory is also supported in the study.