Beeldvorming in Berichtgeving; Joden toen en Moslims nu

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD-Thesis - Research and graduation internal

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Framing differences in the news Comparing the framing of Muslims in Dutch Newspapers (1990-2013) with the framing of Jews in Dutch newspapers (1890-1910) This dissertation deals with the debate on Muslims in the Dutch national newspapers during the period 1990-2013. I compare this debate with the one on Jews in Dutch newspapers in the period 1890-1910. At the end of the 19th century, the position of Dutch Jews, at that time being the largest non-Christian religious minority group, was discussed in Dutch newspapers in a more or less comparable way in which Dutch Muslims were discussed one century later. The comparison of the news coverage of both groups provides insight into the process of emancipation into Dutch society, then and now. This dissertation answers the following research questions: How does the framing of Muslims in Dutch newspapers between 1990 and 2013 differ from the framing of Jews in Dutch newspapers between 1890 and 1910? What are the similarities and differences and how can these be explained? For an optimal comparison of the news coverage in Dutch newspapers during both periods the content analysis has been aligned. This was done by using the same method of content analysis with a focus on a specific part of the framing in newspapers, namely the reporting on the position in society of Jews and Muslims respectively. Using four concepts, theoretical concepts: assimilation, segregation, integration and dominance, I construct the so-called frames of reference to analyze how the position in society of the two minorities is represented in the news. Besides these frames of reference I focus on the attentions given in these news reports to certain events, issues and persons? The results of the analysis of the period 1990-2013 show that after 2000, news coverage of Muslims focuses more on their position in society. Until the year 2000, this reporting was mainly about integration, later about what I have called 'dominance': 'Muslims do not want to integrate, they want to impose their lifestyle, norms and values, upon "us"'. While the frames of reference (assimilation, segregation, integration and dominance) were central to the reporting of Muslims, this was not the case for the reporting of Jews. This was partly due to the very different conceptual framework that characterized the period, but mainly because the reporting was apparently more about what I have called 'issues'. The comparison of the news reports on both minorities shows that there was a much more pluralistic spectrum of opinions about Jews than about Muslims. The reporting on the latter became increasingly unequivocal and negative. Images of Jews were initially problematic and polarizing around 1890, but became significantly less negative around 1910. In order to explain the differences found in the news items in both periods, the difference in social position of both religious groups must be taken into account. Dutch Jews were not the only emancipating group in Dutch society in the period 1890-1910.Dutch Muslims, on the other hand, were actually the only religious minority group recently knocking on the 'society’s door', and this took place in a period in which religion was losing significance in Dutch society. My research shows that there are good points of comparison and that a historical comparison of news items provides important insights. It can also help us gaining a better understanding of complex social inclusion and exclusion processes, in which news media play a role. In the epilogue, I discuss the possibilities of changing the current discussion on Muslims in Dutch newspapers by suggesting a journalistic approach that pays more attention to dialogue and less to polemic.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Sunier, Thijl, Supervisor
  • van der Veer, Kees, Co-supervisor
  • Hofmeester, K.M., Co-supervisor, External person
Award date4 Apr 2022
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Print ISBNs9789036105682
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2022


  • framing Muslims Jews news Dutch newspapers emancipation antisemitism islamophobia mixed method


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