The media are fundamental elements in the construction of meanings, representations, and current agenda. Their power is undeniable in the representation of events, phenomena, people or groups, whether ethnic or religious. This power extends to opinion makers and their production, which is assumed to be legitimate and credible, serving as a barometer for public opinion. Islam and Muslims, according to scientific literature, tend to be represented by the so-called “Western” media in a negative way, being associated with topics such as conflict, terrorism, intolerance and extremism. Furthermore, they are often represented as a homogeneous mass and treated with altrity. Scientific production indicates that opinion makers who write about Islam in Portugal are not experts on the subject. Likewise, it shows that Portuguese Islam is practically invisible in the media and that there is a scientifically unfounded idea that it is “well integrated”. This dissertation analyzes the way in which Islam and Muslims are treated by opinion journalism in Portugal, for ten years (2010-2020), in the online versions of the Portuguese newspapers, Público, Correio da Manhã, Diário de Notícias and Jornal de Notícias, and in the electronic newspaper Observador. Through a mixed methodology, which combines content analysis with critical discourse analysis, the thematic and discursive treatment of this journalistic coverage are analyzed, encompassing 494 opinion articles. It also identifies the most frequent opinion makers on the topic of Islam in Portugal, concluding that the vast majority are not experts on the subject. This research demonstrates that the representations of Islam and Muslims are reductive and mostly associated with terrorism and differences invalues, always from a perspective of alterity, and Portuguese Islam shows no representativepresence. Furthermore, the articles reveal that there is an assumption of a national Christian/Catholic identity.
|Date of Award||1 Feb 2022|
- Universidade Católica Portuguesa
|Supervisor||Catarina Duff Burnay (Supervisor) & Camila Arêas (Supervisor)|
- Mestrado em Ciências da Comunicação