Degree Name

MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)

Program

Liberal Studies

Date of Award

8-2015

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Marie Tedesco

Committee Members

Melvin Page, Melissa Schrift

Abstract

Southern Appalachian attitudes about the religion of Islam and Muslim adherents are influenced largely by mass media's representations. With more than 80% of Appalachia’s population following Protestant Christianity, exposure to Islam in daily life is limited. Media outlets offer the greatest exposure to information about the religion and its adherents. This thesis examined the region's media representation of Islam and Muslims to determine what images are most often portrayed. Research following a twoyear span of reporting in Southern Appalachia studied substance, word frequency, imagery, and editing used in articles that focused on Islam and Muslims. Through the use of content analysis examining rural and metropolitan news circulated in the area, the study found significant use of negative words and phrases in reporting about Islam and Muslims. Newsroom editing of articles also had a considerable damaging effect on how reports represented Islam and Muslims.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.