University of Leicester
2016AlFooriRAMPhD.pdf (2.46 MB)

Patterns of Environmental Coverage in Omani Newspapers: A Constructionist Study of News Frames and Production Influences

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posted on 2016-07-05, 12:41 authored by Rahma Abdullah Mohamed Al Foori
This thesis investigated the magnitude, type and framing of environmental coverage in Oman and Alwatan newspapers. In addition, the influences (e.g. cultural, political and organizational) on the scale, type and framing of environmental issues on the macro and micro levels of production were examined. Social constructionism’s acknowledgment of societal forces in influencing news production, and the ability of media content to construct an understanding of environmental problems, guided the examination of content and production. The theoretical contribution of this study to the literature is providing a framework that interwove constructionism-friendly concepts upon which a mixed-methods framework comprising content analysis, framing analysis, interviews and observation to address the research questions. It was found that privately-owned Alwatan covered more environmental issues in general than government-owned Oman. Natural disaster was the most prominent problem. The prominence of local news unveiled the dominance and therefore the variables of time and space in which these problems were contextualised, which shows why context matters. Thus, the reporting of environmental issues was situational due to contextual differences which were governed by societal forces. The coverage was event-oriented, spontaneous, sporadic and produced without specialised journalists. Officials were positively presented to give an impression of legitimacy and invoking action. Attribution of responsibility frame dominated the coverage. The second most prominent frame, human interest showed how emotive language (i.e. text and visuals) was apparent in the coverage. Journalists used visuals to authenticate environmental reporting. Morality frame was used as a source of comfort and authority. Conflict frame was tactfully avoided when it was perceived by journalists as threatening to the country. As much as journalists demonstrated their active agency in addressing environmental issues, they reflected on how these influences can be a source of either appreciation or resistance.



Hansen, Anders; Reilly, Paul

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Media and Communication

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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