• From breaking news to broken communities: How does the representation of religion in local media contribute to maintaining or extending social cohesion in segregated communities?

      Graham, Elaine L.; Lees, Rebecca (University of Chester, 2017-01)
      Research suggests that Muslims in Britain have been, and continue to be represented and portrayed less favourably to other religions in mainstream media particularly within the print press, on a local and national scale (Knott, Poole, Tairu, 2013, Poole, 2009). This dissertation critically analyses how religion, specifically Christianity and Islam have been represented in the local media and to what extent this representation has had an impact on the maintaining or extending of social cohesion within Burnley; a town where segregation is apparent and integration is a challenge. Data collected through the application of content analysis and critical discourse analysis to two newspapers from 2001 to 2015 shows the patterns and trends in representation over a substantial period of time, whereby the community they serve became increasingly diverse with each Census. Findings from the research suggest that Christianity was referenced more times than Islam and more positively. However, significant changes to the practice of the press over the fourteen years resulted in the inclusion of more Muslim voices contributing to the enhanced religious literacy of the press. Recommendations for further research to add to this dissertation have been made in addition to enhancements to the practice of the local print media.