Based on a visual, verbal and aural quantitative and qualitative content analysis of the 62 execution videos produced by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during its first year of existence (2014–2015), the aim of this research is to further the understanding of the inherent nature of the narratives spread by ISIL execution videos and to which audience(s) they are targeted. The authors adopt a bottom-up systematic approach of coding based on grounded theory to process visual and aural communication data as well as verbal communication of more than seven hours of ISIL hostage execution videos. In so doing, this research contributes to the understanding of multimodal communication interactions and the role of their discrepancies in framing fundamentalist ideologies. Moreover, the study adds perspective to previous research on Jihadist visual communication and audience studies. The results demonstrate how hostage execution videos discourse relies on ‘framing packages’ linked to values, norms and archetypes to create a recurrent and coherent organizational narrative aimed at segmenting ISIL’s audiences.
This study aims to increase our understanding of the dynamics of the Palestinian media and the conditions and circumstances in which they work, including both the conflict with Israel and the internal political strife within Palestinian society. It is based on the use of qualitative research methods and was conducted in two stages. First, we performed a mapping of Palestinian media outlets. Data on these Palestinian media outlets were collected online from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Information website, the Gaza-based Hamas government’s Ministry of Information website, and statements published by Palestinian media outlets on their websites describing their affiliation and ownership. Second, to gain a more in-depth understanding of the dynamics and experience of practicing journalism in a situation of asymmetrical conflict, semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with 25 professional local Palestinian journalists working for local media outlets in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Through this study we aim to learn more about how groups shape and express their narratives and agendas through the media when restricted by the conditions, pressures, and limitations of asymmetrical conflict.