Since the September 11th attacks by al-Qaeda on the US Islam and Muslims are increasingly associated with violence and terrorism. This trend is also evident in the Netherlands: the coverage of Islam and Muslims in the Netherlands has grown exponentially. This observation as resulted in the following central question: Has the news coverage of Islam in NRC Handelsblad changed between 1995 and 2009? This question have been researched by using quantitative content analysis. For the analysis I have chosen articles published in 1995, 2002 and 2009 in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. The choice for these years is based on the assumption that there might be differences in news coverage of Islam, given the harsh criticism of Islam and Muslims by Dutch politicians and the public. The analysis of the news coverage shows a clear development of newsworthiness, media hype and framing of issues related to Islam and Muslims in the Netherlands. Islam is a subject that is connected with a large number of themes. The analysis of the term Islamization shows that in 1995 this term was associated with Islam abroad only. The analysis in 2002 and 2009 shows that this term has become commonplace in political debates in NRC Handelsblad. A constant element in the three years was the rather negative tone in the coverage of political and public debates they were presented as a threat to core values of Dutch society. The analysis showed that several frames are used to describe Muslims and the Islam, but that the conflict frame is most dominant. The increase in negative coverage of Islam and Muslims by the NRC Handelsblad probably is an indication of a trend which might applicable to the other Dutch newspapers. A comparison of the coverage of Islam and Muslims in the Netherlands by the major Dutch newspapers may show if the results of this research are also valid for these newspapers.

Additional Metadata
Keywords media en journalistiek, NRC Handelsblad, Islamisering, Frame-analyse, Inhoudsanalyse
Thesis Advisor Dr. C. Aalberts
Persistent URL
Series Media & Journalistiek
Genderen, J. van. (2011, January 17). Van Fatwa tot Fitna. Media & Journalistiek. Retrieved from