Free Report About Quantitative Newspaper Content Analysis
National post is a Canadian newspaper published weekly, Mondays through to Saturdays. The newspaper looks at various issues that include but not limited to politics, health, gender issues, finance, world news, religion, terrorists invasion and sports. The news of National Post includes local and international news, with a unique interest on issues of religion and ethnicity. The paper has been put on the spotlight for showing bias and engaging in issues of politics and religion, especially where Islam is concerned. For a long time, the paper has been under thorough scrutiny by Islamic organizations that have condemned it for showing bias against the religion. It is because of these concerns that have been raised that the paper will quantitatively analyze its content where ethnicity is concerned. This shall be accomplished by looking at both previous and present publications to analyze how such news is presented.
The National Post, just like every other newspaper aims at reaching out to a targeted audience with news that will not only inform and enlighten them but also address topics that will make the paper sell. Being a newspaper published and supplied by a private company, it means that the content has to in line with the desires of the proprietor. It is normal or newspapers circulated by private companies to have some hidden interests with them, which are aimed at showing favor for a particular community at the expense of the other. When it comes to the content, the target is also the audience. The headlines will therefore be designed in a way that will attract the prospective consumers and hence increasing its ratings, nationally and internationally (Treiman 50). It is normal for a certain group, which may not necessarily be among the targeted consumers to feel left out or sidelined by such a newspaper as they seek to serve the majority audience.
The fact that the newspaper is published in Canada, issues that affect Canadians will hence be of priority. Canada is composed of a majority of Christians and hence the content will have news that will attract the attention of Christians that form its biggest audience. Religious wars that revolve around Muslims have made headlines all across the world, especially with the association of terrorism with the Islamic religion. Terrorism is a global issue that is condemned by people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds (Sandole 48). Just like most western countries, Canada stands in solidarity with Christian nations that are facing terrorists and religious threats. This hence explains why Islamic organizations have condemned the national post for focusing much on condemning terrorism and defending Israel, due to the Muslim nations that surround it.
While quantifying the ethnic content of the National Post, we will find out whether the allegations that have been laid by Islamic communities are true or not. In the analysis, we shall look at all posts that touch on religious and political issues as well as those that relate to terrorism as well as Israel. The analysis will not be biased but simply look at whether the posts have been presented to undermine the Islamic religion or are mainly addressing issues on national and international security. The research will also be based considering the percentage of Muslims in Canada compared to Christians and the possibility of the articles being written targeting the majority audience. We shall also be looking at the rate at which the newspaper is being distributed and read internationally which may justify or refute the allegations.
Operationalization/Unit of Observation/Coding Scheme
It should be noted that the National Post has passed through many companies and proprietors in the bid to keep it afloat. The newspaper started hitting the headlines for its support of Israel and bias towards the Muslim when it was acquired by Izzy Asper. The paper was recorded to be one of the few newspapers in Canada that openly showed its support towards Israel. This was especially recorded in 2006 when there was a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Such strong support for the nation was related to the founder of the newspaper, as the editors were keen at maintaining his legacy and political ideologies. Others argued that it was a business tactic that was aimed at making the newspaper to sell.
National Post is published and mainly supplied in Toronto, which is Canada’s largest city and the fourth largest media house in North America. In fact, the newspaper has two editions, one supplied in Toronto and the other supplied in other cities of Canada (Kruger, Marlene, & Bojan 82). Looking at the ethnic and religious population of Toronto, the highest percentage is composed of Christians. Islam is considered a minority group, which influences the content that is published in the newspaper.
A controversial news item was posted in the National Post alleging that the Iranian parliament had passed a law that was discriminative on minority religious groups. The article that appeared on May 19, 2006, accused the government of Iran for discriminating against the minorities that included the Jews communities. This was definitely posted with the intentions of promoting the sale of the newspaper, as the target consumers, who were mostly Christians, would be interested in the story and hence buying the paper. It was later discovered that the post was not true and that there was no such law passed by the Iranian parliament. Later on may 24, 2006, the then editor in chief of the newspaper had to post an apology from the public and admitted that the story was not correct and that there was laxity from the writers who did not carry adequate research on the sources.
National Post has been under through scrutiny from the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) since 1998. Every article that touches on religious and ethnic issues is closely monitored to find if there is anything anti-Islam in it. The scrutiny has been so intense that they discourage the use of terms that portray the Islamic religion as the center of all terrorists’ activities. The CIC observes that terrorism is a global issue that affects people from all communities and religious background. Displaying the entire religion as a terrorist religion undermines its religious believes considering the fact that they have also suffered the consequences of terrorists’ invasion. The CIC ha s maintained that it has nothing to do with terrorism or terrorist groups and that those who are involved in the act may be Muslims but that does not imply that the Islamic religion encourages terrorism (Ross 195).
In response to the claims against the national Post, the editors have expressed concerns over the dictatorial views of the CIC. The editors have claimed that the CIC wants to dictate to the newspaper on what to post and the kind of language to use. They stated that they were endowed with the responsibility of informing their audience the truth of the matter without having to be subjected to intimidation from CIC.
The above report was conducted after a series of research and studies. The main source of information was the internet where certain claims were made against the National Post. Every claim was followed by searching for a post in the newspaper for the purpose of validating the information that was placed in the newspaper. Most of the research was done on newspapers from 2006 to 2011. The trend was observed in subsequent years in comparison to other newspapers that are circulated in the country and more especially Toronto (Pearce 335). The religious composition of the city was also studied to analyze the issue in relation to the target consumers and interests.
The controversial post, which was followed by a thorough scrutiny of the newspaper by the CIC may have drawn away some of the customers, most who may have been Muslims. In as much as the editors strongly opposed the allegations that were raised against them by the CIC terming them dictatorial, the allegations may have grabbed the attention of some readers who stopped purchasing the newspaper. However, looking at the percentage of people in Toronto based on their religious affiliations, we understand why the National Post did not bow to the demands of CIC (Lubbers, Peer, & Maurice 136). They were confident of staying afloat in the market since the biggest percentages of people, who also form their audience, are Christians. Despite the disassociation of the CIC from terrorists’ activities, research has proved that the biggest percentage of terrorist groups and militia are Muslims.
The research shows discrepancy in the way the newspaper presents its posts that touch on issues of religion and ethnicity. National Post is not apologetic of the fact that it has issues with the Muslim society and more especially on issues pertaining to terrorism. The allegations of its favoritism on Israel were clearly revealed through the controversial post on the Iranian government. Were it not for the raised concern the editors would have not made any efforts to apologize as they were into defending Israel at the expense of Islamic state. The attitude that was presented by the editors on the CIC issue reveals that stern position on how they will present issue of terrorism and the Islamic community. The National Post is unshakable on its stand as it aims at defending the religious interests of its founders and its audience.
There are thousands of newspapers circulated on a daily basis, each with a specific target audience and particular objectives. In as much as each piece will receive criticisms from different quarters on the discriminative nature of its quarters, such criticisms will not work, as long as the target audience is satisfied with it. The only measure of content quality that can make a newspaper change is when its target audience is not responding through the sales volume. However, in as much as a newspaper will continue being bought and appreciated by the target audience, no amount of criticism will hinder it from using a similar format of presenting news. The National Post has its target audience in Toronto and other regions of Canada, the content of the material will hence continue being upgraded and updated based on the changing trends, rather than those of their critics. The newspaper is still one of the most circulated and read in Canada.
Kruger, Erin, Marlene Mulder, and Bojan Korenic. "Canada after 11 September: Security measures and" preferred" immigrants." Mediterranean Quarterly 15.4 (2004): 72-87.
Lubbers, Marcel, Peer Scheepers, and Maurice Vergeer. "Exposure to newspapers and attitudes toward ethnic minorities: A longitudinal analysis." Howard Journal of Communication 11.2 (2000): 127-143.
Pearce, Susanna. "Religious rage: A quantitative analysis of the intensity of religious conflicts." Terrorism and Political Violence 17.3 (2005): 333-352.
Ross, Liat Radcliffe. "Canadian Muslims and foreign policy." International Journal (2007): 187-205.
Sandole, Dennis JD. "The'New'Terrorism: Causes, Conditions and Conflict Resolution." Wiener Blätter zur Friedensforschung 121 (2004): 43-56.
Treiman, Donald J. Quantitative data analysis: Doing social research to test ideas. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.