'Nigeria as a country of interest in terrorism': Newspaper framing of Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber

Mercy Ette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Media coverage of the 'War on Terror' has generated different frameworks of understanding that have been shaped by meanings and images that emerged after September 11, 2001. These frameworks of meanings are routinely used to structure and contextualize news stories and events associated with terrorism. This article investigates news frames that four Nigerian newspapers applied to the coverage of an attempted suicide attack on a US-bound aircraft on Christmas Day in 2009. It analyses the newspapers' interpretation of the aborted act of terrorism by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian man, which resulted in the United States categorizing Nigeria as a 'country of interest in the context of terrorism'. The article outlines recurrent themes and issues that the newspapers primed for their audiences by interrogating a selection of editorial contents of the publications. It seeks to highlight how discursive fields in the coverage emphasized specific understanding of the event. The article argues that the constructed accounts of the foiled attack were framed and structured to create a distance between Abdulmutallab and his country and that the news frames the newspapers used narrowed public understanding of the significance of Abdulmutallab's radicalization and its possible implications for Nigeria.

LanguageEnglish
Pages45-59
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of African Media Studies
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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Bombers
Terrorism
Nigeria
terrorism
newspaper
news
coverage
radicalization
event
September 11, 2001
Aircraft
aircraft
suicide
interpretation

Cite this

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'Nigeria as a country of interest in terrorism' : Newspaper framing of Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber. / Ette, Mercy.

In: Journal of African Media Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, 04.2012, p. 45-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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