Press coverage on Syria fighters in Flanders and the Netherlands

IMS-ers Anna Berbers and her colleagues published an article ‘The News Framing of the ‘Syria Fighters’ in Flanders and the Netherlands’ in Ethnicities. This article examines press coverage on the Syria fighters in Flanders and the Netherlands between March 2012 and October 2013. It provides an overview of the debate by presenting the frames commonly used to interpret the role of the Syria fighters and the actors using those frames. The Syria fighter case shows that framing related to Muslims is relatively one-sided and often problematized in a negative sense, with the ‘terrorist’ frame as the most commonly applied frame. In addition, the frames that depict religion as a motivating force (i.e. ‘terrorist’, ‘victim’ and ‘martyr’ frame) overshadow the frames that revolve around secular beliefs (i.e. ‘adventurer’ and ‘Don Quixote’ frame). It is suggested that alternative frames or counterframes can be important as they may function as a deterrent to radicalization amongst youngsters by offering an alternative to the proliferation of online fundamentalist discourse and negative societal constructions.

Berbers, A., Joris, W., Boesman, J., d’Haenens, L., Koeman, J., Van Gorp, B. (2016). The News Framing of the ‘Syria Fighters’ in Flanders and the Netherlands. Ethnicities

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