Is the Canadian Media Ready for a Tahrir Moment?: Comparing the Canadian Media’s Framing Strategy of Social Movements at Home and Abroad

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Title: Is the Canadian Media Ready for a Tahrir Moment?: Comparing the Canadian Media’s Framing Strategy of Social Movements at Home and Abroad
Authors: Zaky, Radamis
Date: 2014
Abstract: Mainstream media use “the protest paradigm” in framing social movements. The protest paradigm frames protests negatively by marginalizing protesters, trivializing their demands, focusing more on violent and dramatic issues instead of trying to establish a rational discussion around the reasons behind the protests and by neglecting the existence of their presence by simply not covering the protests at all. . The main function of a social movement is to challenge the status quo, while a main function of the mainstream media is arguably to contribute to the governance of society and the maintenance of public order; in a sense, to maintain the status quo. Thus, a main reason behind the consistent usage of the protest paradigm in covering protests is the conflict between social movements and mainstream media in society. But is it easier for mainstream Canadian media to challenge the status quo abroad than at home? Are Canadian media more reliant on the protest paradigm for covering global protest than local ones? Grounded in the theory of Media Framing, particularly the works of Entman (1993) this thesis compares the framing strategy that various Canadian media outlets applied while covering the 2011 Egyptian Uprising and the Occupy Toronto Movement. Empirical data collected by conducting deductive content analysis is applied to the coverage of the Toronto Edition of the Toronto Star, The Global and Mail and The Toronto Sun during the 18 days of the Egyptian uprising in January and February 2011 and the 42 days of Occupy Toronto from October 14th till November 24th, 2011 . The main argument of this thesis is that the Canadian media did not follow consist framing strategy in covering the two protests’ activities. The literature of the protest and media only focus on the notion of challenging the status quo without taking into consideration the factor of the location of the protests. Consequently, this paper is trying to add the location factor to the literature by trying to discover if the Canadian media is taking the same position from social movements that challenge the status quo regardless of where it is taking place or not.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/31690
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-6535
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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