Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number1 March 2020                                                    Pp.166-180
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol11no1.14

Full Paper PDF

 

 

Investigating the Use of Language in Islam-related News: Evidence
from Selected Non-Western Online Newspapers
 

Isyaku Hassan
Faculty of Languages and Communication
Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Mohd Nazri Latiff Azmi
Faculty of Languages and Communication
Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Aliyu Abdullahi
Faculty of Languages and Communication
Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.

 

 

Abstract:
The manner in which language is utilized in reporting Islam is disheartening. This is because sensationalized language, especially in the news media, could reinforce negative stereotypes. As such, those who rely on the media to understand Islam are likely to develop negative preconceptions about the religion. This study aims to investigate how the non-western online newspapers use language in news coverage of Islam. Content analysis was used to collect and analyze the data. Using purposive sampling, Punch and Vanguard were selected from Nigeria while The Star and New Straits Times were selected from Malaysia. A total of 599 Islam-related news articles were collected from the selected newspapers using internet-based search from November 2015 until September 2016. The findings showed that almost half of the overall Islam-related articles conveyed negative tone toward Islam while very few conveyed positive tone. This shows that the language used in news coverage of Islam is inappropriate and sensational. Hence, there is a need to enhance the reporters’ knowledge and writing skills through inter-media exchange program, exposure to different religious, social and cultural lives, workshops, seminars, conferences, as well as sensitivity training and retraining on reporting religions.
Keywords: media language, news articles, newspapers, non-western media, sensationalism

Cite as: Hassan, I., Azmi, M. N. L., & Abdullahi, A. (2020). Investigating the Use of Language in Islam-related News: Evidence from Selected Non-Western Online Newspapers. Arab World English Journal, 11 (1) 166-180 .
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol11no1.14

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Dr. Isyaku Hassan is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Faculty of Languages and
Communication, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Malaysia. Isyaku holds a Bachelor of
Science in Mass Communication, an MA in English/Communication and a PhD in
Communication. His area of research interest includes Language, Communication, and Literature.
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8260-2894

Dr. Mohd Nazri Latiff Azmi is an Assoc. Prof. of English Language at Universiti Sultan Zainal
Abidin (UniSZA), Malaysia. He is a former Dean and Head of English Department in the Faculty
of Languages and Communication, UniSZA. Nazri specializes in Literacy and Comparative
Literature Studies.https://orcid0000-0002-47125332

Dr. Aliyu Abdullahi has just completed his PhD program at the Faculty of Languages and
Communication, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Malaysia. He specializes in E-Language Learning, Language Error Analysis, Pragmatics, Cognitive Linguistics, Computerassisted Language Learning and Cybergogy (Web-based learning).