Monday 25 September 2023 - 8:02:36 am

Media ‘framing’ of terror attacks shapes impact of terrorism: Study

ABU DHABI, 24th March, 2023 (WAM) -- How the media ‘frames’ terror attacks contributes to or mitigates the impact of terrorism, a new study by the Sawab Center has found. Framing involves selection of material and the use of rhetoric to present a picture of an issue or event, as terrorist groups rely on media coverage to amplify their message and achieve their goals.

A recent Sawab-published research paper, titled ‘Power of framing: How media coverage shapes impact of terrorism across languages, regions, incorporates comparative analysis of six incidents in three languages, three countries, six publications/channels, and 120 articles. The comparative analysis strongly indicates that media coverage of terror attacks is an important area to combat terrorist narratives.

The paper examined how terrorism is framed in three countries (Egypt, France, and Britain) that have experienced a high number of terrorist attacks, and in three languages (Arabic, French, and English), to identify similarities and differences in framing.

Sawab found that media reporting that sensationalises or promotes division can increase the impact of terrorism, while responsible reporting can fulfill the public’s right to know about security threats without promoting terrorists’ agenda.

The research findings underscore that media guidelines are critical in promoting responsible reporting that focuses on the impact on victims and avoids repeating terrorist propaganda. The findings also call for additional training of journalists to encourage objective, factual reporting.

The research paper can be accessed at

Amjad Saleh/ Muhammad Aamir