Framing of Online News Reporting on Terrorist Attacks in the United Kingdom (2015-2017)

Author
Juraj Nosal
Content Type
Working Paper
Institution
Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, St. Andrews University, Scotland
Abstract
This paper examined framing of online news reporting on terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom. The sample consisted of the articles published on three British news websites about six major terrorist attacks that took place in Europe between 2015 and 2017. The research aimed to identify and compare dominant news frames on the websites and discuss to what degree online reporting on terrorism contributes to the promotion of terror and violence. The study employed an inductive approach based on computer-assisted qualitative content analysis, which was complemented by quantitative content analysis of the article’s main textual elements such as headlines, leads, and concluding paragraphs. The analysis identified 20 dominant news frames: seven in MailOnline, six in The Independent and seven in The Telegraph. The study concluded that framing of news reporting on terrorist attacks does not significantly differ among the websites. Most frames contain similar framing packages and lexical choices, and can be grouped into broader sets that appear across the websites. Quantitative content analysis of the articles’ textual elements also showed very similar trends. Furthermore, the study found that online reporting on terrorist attacks significantly contributes to the promotion of terror and violence. This was clearly manifested in at least five identified news frames as well as by the results of quantitative content analysis.
Topic
Terrorism, Media, Internet, News Analysis
Political Geography
United Kingdom, Europe