Document Type : Scientific Research Manuscript


1 Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences, Faculty of Communication Sciences, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran

2 MA in Media Management, IRIB University, Tehran, Iran


National-religious events attract media attention but different media views events differently in ideological frameworks which facilitate the failure or success of public diplomacy efforts all around the world. In this regard, Persian-language foreign media, including the BBC Persian, is among the sources of meaning and conceptualization of national-religious events such as Chaharshanbehsuri for audiences inside Iran. In recent years, one of the most important events happening yearly with a large crowd of people is the Arbaeen Hosseini procession. According to Rodenbühler's approach to the concept of ritual, Arbaeen ritual is performed voluntarily, non-instrumental and seriously. This paper, considering the history and the extent of the BBC in professional news activity, analyzes the way of Arbaeen event representation on the BBC website using thematic analysis method. The findings indicate that the Arbaeen pilgrims' walking ritual has been strongly represented as a political and ideological movement under the seven main themes (documentary narration, separatism and Shia, crisis of disorder and inability of Iran and Iraq’s governments, Arbaeen downsizing, analysis of the eight-year Iraq-Iran war, allegedly imposed insecurity by Isil and the political Maneuver of the Iranian government). The representation of the relations between the actors in this ritual ceremony not only has nothing to do with Rothenbuhler’s view but also shows the negative image making of this religious event as a continuation of the Shia phobia in the western media and especially as a new manifestation of Iranophobia.


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