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Challenging the Models of Terrorism Discourse in the News: European and Islamic Values in the French and Italian Press

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image of Journal of Religion in Europe

The aim of this paper is to reflect on the social role of European journalists as they cover the issue of terrorism, which is a potential threat to European society itself. For this purpose, the paper presents the results of a qualitative media content analysis related to the news coverage of the aftermath of three major terrorist attacks. Specifically, the research focuses on the values involved in the coverage of the event rather than on the strict report of what happened. The authors observe that both liberal/‘trustee’ and polarized pluralist/‘advocacy’ models engender a double paradox concerning the interest of citizens in being informed or being protected by news media. Nonetheless, the liberal value of responsibility emerges as fundamental, in order to face and resolve this paradox.

Affiliations: 1: Coris Department, Sapienza Università di Roma, ; 2: Coris Department, Sapienza Università di Roma, PhD Candidate,


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