The New York Times Media Project


    The New York Times was founded in 1851 and since then has served as one of the most highly respected sources of information, used globally, to understand the world. The goal of this project is to track how the NYT represented Muslims, Arabs, and the Middle East over the 170 years of its history.  Through deep content analyses of the NYT newspaper articles, the Media Project researchers examine the words used, the imagery, and the narratives to identify patterns in representation.  We look especially to identify whether representation coincides with interests of the American state and international politics. This project recognizes that history is not a thing of the past, it is a process that inflects our present. Understanding history, and the representations in history, is crucial to making sense of our world today.

    The New York Times Media Project was launched in 2001 by Dr. Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. The researchers for the Media Project have been UC Davis graduate and undergraduate students, as student researchers, interns or volunteers.  Over the past two decades, the Media Project has been home to well over one hundred UC Davis students from a plethora of majors. This project is a unique research opportunity, especially for undergraduate students.

    The Joseph Lab allows undergraduates to take on leadership roles as team leads and conference organizers, and to gain first-hand experience in archival research, journalistic textual analysis, and grant writing. In addition, the Media Project recognizes that for much of students’ education, they are often required to employ secondary sources. The Media Project offers an experience in which undergraduate students are empowered to use primary sources in order to build skills in critical analysis. This process challenges students to be aware of their own biases while also being cognizant of the context and date articles were published in.  All the student researchers have the opportunity to present their research at the annual UC Davis Undergraduate Research Conference and the annual UC Davis Middle East/South Asia Studies Research Symposium – the latter was founded and co-funded by Suad Joseph. Many of the student researchers apply for and win Suad Joseph Student Research Awards to support their research in the Joseph Lab.

Suad Joseph Publications from The New York Times Media Project

Abstracts from the Undergraduate Research Conference & Middle East/South Asia Student Research Symposium Presentations