USF St. Petersburg campus Master's Theses (Graduate)

First Advisor

Robert Dardenne, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Deni Elliott, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Xiaopen Wang, Ph.D.


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued

2012-10-25 00:00


This study examines the framing of Sami Al‐Arian in 2001 by the local, mainstream Tampa Bay press, and compares this portrayal to the outcome of Al‐ Arian’s 2005 trial. In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, both the Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times covered Al‐Arian in a negative and stereotypical manner, in sharp contrast with the outcome of a 2005 trial that acquitted Al‐Arian of the most serious charges of aiding known terrorists. The theoretical base of this paper is framing, stereotype, and the social construction of reality, and finds the way the press portrayed Al‐Arian had a direct impact on the professor’s life and career, despite never being found guilty.


A thesis submitted in the partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts, Department of Journalism and Media Studies, College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.