Essachess (Dec 2019)

Elections, Representations, and Journalistic Schemas: Local News Coverage of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib in the US Mid-term Elections

  • Maha BASHRI

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 24
pp. 129 – 146


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Communication research has systematically pointed to the disparities in news coverage of political candidates from women and minority groups. These differences may hurt the chances of these candidates at being elected. Recently more migrants are entering the political arenas in their adopted Western countries. Migrants have become the center of debates over the rights and wrongs of multiculturalism. In particular, Muslim women, in liberal democracies have been turned into an allegory for undesirable cultural difference. The November 2018 US Congressional race saw an unprecedented number of women especially minority women run for office. Ilhan Omar (representing Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (representing Michigan) are the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Both Omar and Tlaib won by large margins. This study examines if local news coverage of Omar and Tlaib’s candidacy was congruent to prevalent schemas in representations of Muslim women and minorities in American media.