A study at Jordan Media Institute analyzes media coverage of the Deal of the Century in two news agencies

10 May 2021

Jordan Media Institute- Amman

An analytical study explored how the Deal of the Century was covered by news agencies. The study sought to answer questions about the number and content of articles published on the topic, the sources that were cited, and the types and means of emphasis that were used. The main actors mentioned in each piece were identified, as well as any opinion that could be detected.

The study, which was conducted by Alaa AlFarsali, a masters student in the Journalism and New Media program at Jordan Media Institute, used descriptive analytical methods to examine the content of news reports in order to analyze the coverage of the Deal of the Century by two news agencies, Petra and Reuters.

AlFarsali, who discussed the results of her study with four expert professors at the Institute on Monday, found that the number of Reuters news reports that focused on the Deal of the Century were greater than the number of reports by Petra news agency. She went on to demonstrate that both of the news agencies focused on political content in their news reports related to the topic.

Petra news agency’s coverage of the Deal of the Century used the phrase “Deal of the Century” in  46.2% of reports surveyed, whereas Reuters news agency emphasized the phrase “the American peace plan,” which appeared in 43.2% of reports surveyed.

The study made several conclusions, foremost of which was that the state actor most discussed in the articles on the Deal of the Century in Petra news agency was Jordan, which represented 32.3% of references to state actors, followed by Palestine, with the United States in third place. Meanwhile in Reuters news agency, the state actor most represented was the United States, at 36.3% of all references to state actors, followed by Israel, with Palestine being represented only 13.2% of the time.

The most prominent individual actor mentioned in reports by both Reuters and Petra was the [previous] President of the United States, Donald Trump, who dominated both news organizations’ coverage, as AlFarsali shows. He was mentioned in 32.3% of reports from the Petra news agency, and in 46.3% of reports by Reuters news agency. Meanwhile, King Abdullah II of Jordan was the second most prominent actor in Petra’s news coverage, represented in 19.2% of reports. In Reuters' coverage, the second most prominent figure was Jared Kushner, represented in 23.7% of its reports on the topic.

The results revealed each news agency’s focus on the news story, more so than other journalistic approaches, which rarely use proper methods to present information. The study revealed that photography was the most used of those methods . 

To learn more about this study, and to receive updates from JMI, you can contact us by email at info@jmi.edu.jo. Note that the Institute has begun accepting online applications to its masters in Journalism and New Media program for the 2021-2022 academic year. Applications will be accepted until July 1 2021.