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Framing the Egyptian Revolution: A content analysis of Al Jazeera English and the BBC

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This article uses content analysis to investigate how Al Jazeera English (AJE) and the BBC framed the Egyptian revolution that took place in Cairo at the beginning of 2011. It analyzes a sample of 250 articles to understand how AJE and the BBC implemented five frames: attribution of responsibility; conflict; human interest; economic; and morality. As a result, AJE and the BBC had the similar tendency to focus on the first two frames, although the BBC was also somewhat likely to use the human interest frame. AJE reported more on different groups reproaching one another, and the BBC referred more to winners and losers. Most news articles were predominantly episodic, portraying the government as mainly responsible. In conclusion, AJE and the BBC tended to provide slightly different versions of reality.
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Keywords: Al Jazeera English; BBC; Egypt revolution; content analysis; framing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Publication date: March 20, 2012

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  • The emergence of satellite TV, the internet and digital technology have dramatically changed the way audiences receive information and interact with the media. The sudden success of Al-Jazeera and other Arab broadcasters have altered the way the Arab world narrates itself and reports news from the region to the rest of the world. The journal aims to lead the debate about these emerging rapid changes in media and society in Arab and Muslim parts of the world.
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