Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Dr. Joseph Pascarella


The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) garnered global news media attention in Summer 2014 when it seized a significant section of land in Iraq and Syria. The group then mishandled and executed its captives. There is a lack of consensus among the international community, led by Russia and the United States, on how best to address the threat posed by ISIS. An understanding of the function of Russian and U.S. news media coverage of the ISIS threat is an appropriate research topic. The purpose of this qualitative content analysis study was to explore how the U.S, Russian, and Qatari news media represented ISIS between May 1, 2014, and May 1, 2015. The theoretical framework for this study was the agenda-setting theory. The research questions centered on how 3 news media outlets from the 3 countries represented ISIS within this time frame. The study design was a qualitative deductive content analysis with purposeful sampling. Data were coded in a binary manner and analyzed using the data software program Dedoose. Themes identified in the analysis were mitigation, insecurity, foreign fighters, responsibility, and propaganda. The results of this study suggest that there are similarities and differences in Russian, Qatari, and U.S. media outlets' depiction of ISIS between May 1, 2014, and May 1, 2015, which can be explained by agenda-setting theory. The significance of this study is twofold. First, the information arising from the study may influence social change by assisting counterterrorism officials and policy makers in making informed decisions about how to mitigate the ISIS threat. Second, this study contributes to the existing literature on ISIS and its global media representation for future researchers.