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November 27, 2014

Alum Receives Award for Paper on Coverage of Islam in Egypt

July 27, 2011

Greg Perreault
Greg Perreault
The way Islam is covered in the news media has become a timely topic of late, and it is one that Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate Greg Perreault has studied extensively.

Perreault’s paper, "Islam is Everywhere: Coverage of Islam in the Egyptian English Press,” recently received the top student paper award during a competition sponsored by the Religion and Media Interest Group of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communicaton (AEJMC).

The paper studied how the English-language press in Egypt performed coverage of Islam in 2009-2010, in the period before the democratic wave known as the Arab spring. It involved a content analysis of three different Egyptian news entities – Al Ahram Weekly, Al Masry Al Youm and Daily News Egypt – and interviews with journalists and editors who work in Egyptian-based news media.

"Existing English-language research on the coverage of Islam is mainly centered on Western media coverage of Islam," according to the paper’s abstract. "Little or no English research exists which examines how Egyptian media professionals and bloggers cover Islam, the major religion of Egypt."

One of his key findings was that Egyptian journalists predominantly covered Islam in terms of culture and politics. Very few stories dealt with the theological and religious issues of Islam, he said.

While coverage of Sunni Islam existed, it was a specific type of coverage. "Journalists were very open about their struggles in covering the minority religions of their country, which in this case is Coptic Christianity and Shia Islam," Perreault said.

Perreault, who graduated from PBA in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism, is preparing to enter the doctoral program in journalism at the University of Missouri. His award-winning paper is a condensed version of the master's thesis he submitted for Georgetown University's Communication, Culture and Technology program (CCT).

Since 2008, he has served as program coordinator and instructor for the Washington Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.

During his years at PBA, Perreault was a writer and editor for the student newspaper, The Beacon. He served as editor of the weekly paper from 2005 to 2006.

 

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