Thursday, March 31, 2016

Framing Assignment: Brussels Terrorist Attack

On Tuesday, March, 22, bombs went off at two locations in Brussels. ISIS took responsibility for the attacks. Since the attacks there have been global outcry -- both sympathy and concern -- on U.S. soil. Democracy Now!, The New Yorker and Vox Media all covered the attacks, however, they do so in varying degrees.

Democracy Now!
A day after the attacks Democracy Now! covered the attacks in their daily news coverage in a video titled: After Brussels Attack, Will Response Be More War or a Look at the Root Causes of Terrorism?

The title of this video alone suggests the outlet plans on answering the question and it leaves the viewer wondering if they will address what they think are the root causes of terrorism. It also suggests that the main focus of the segment won't be just on the events that took place -- although this is how it begins. Democracy Now! anchors start the segment by outlining the facts of the event: where the bombs went off, those injured and killed. During the opening they play video and pictures captured by civilians in Brussels. They then interview Frank Barat, whose title is "Activist & Novelist". Barat gives commentary on the state of Brussels after the attack. At one point he mentions how the attacks involve a lot more than Radical Islamist as the cause and how it also involves "disenfranchised youth". Barat continues to expand on this idea. Democracy Now!'s coverage is framed in a way that promises a more in-depth approach to the attacks rather than simply stating what happened.

The New Yorker
The New Yorker published a long and detailed article titled "Journey to Jihad" with the sub header: "Why are teen-agers joining ISIS?". The article begins by setting a scene of fourteen-year-old Jejoen Bontinck dancing to Michael Jackson on a game show in 2009. This paragraph clearly sets to humanize Jejoen Bontinck, who, in the next paragraph, is then said to have joined "a jihadi radicalization program" and interrogated by Belgian police post Brussels attack. The New Yorker aims to frame a more personalized picture of those joining ISIS.

Vox Media
Vox Media posted a multimedia story on the attacks titled "Attacks in the airport and metro in Brussels: what we know from Belgium." The article begins with facts on the attacks and then uses maps to show where and at what times the bombs went off. The article then ends by listing more facts on what the Belgium police, other news sources, and an ISIS-linked news agency had to say on the attacks. Vox's framing of this story is strictly factual and only aims to provide information to it's audience.

Altogether these stories provide a detailed account of not only what happened in Brussels, but what is causing terrorism and who is behind it. Separately, they address and frame the attacks in completely different ways.

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