Reflection of Religious Issues in the Iranian Press: A Content Analysis of Kayhān and Iṭṭilā‘āt Newspapers in Muḥarram (1956-2006)

Document Type : Scholary


Department of Communication Sciences, Faculty of Communication Sciences, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


As a medium that different segments of society can access, the newspaper plays a vital role in educating and promoting the culture and values ​​that govern society. Correspondingly, religion had an important place among the Iranian people before the Islamic Revolution of 1979. This study set out to examine the religious content of Kayhān and Iṭṭilā‘āt newspapers in the first thirteen days of Muḥarram in the years 1956, 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, and 2006. In this study, 118 newspapers were analyzed, and 1126 religious items were extracted using the quantitative content analysis method. All items were coded for religious content, and the results were analyzed using SPSS software. Findings showed a significant difference between the Pahlavi and the Islamic Republic periods in the publication of religious content. While the use of news style increased in the first three decades after the Revolution, religious advertisements decreased in this period. Topics such as narrations, mourning observances, and praise of religious leaders have increased in the years after the revolution. The articles published during the Pahlavi era mainly had an educational and religious proselytizing function, while the newspaper content in the post-revolutionary period has been comprise of news about religious events and praise of religious leaders.


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