Monotheism and television: a comparative content analysis of religion in prime-time programming in the USA, Israel, and Turkey

Yoel Cohen, Amir Hetsroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This comparative study examines content on religion in mainstream TV programming in three countries: Christianity as expressed on US television, Islam on Turkish Television, and Judaism on Israel Television. Religious practices, spiritual inspiration, and the extent to which they accurately reflected religious tradition along with the tone of conversation about religion were coded in 154 hours of prime-time network programming from the USA, 112 hours of prime-time programming from Israel, and 30 hours from Turkey. The results indicate that most religious activity on television is done in public. Its presence in the programming is very infrequent: once an hour in Turkey, once in 2hours in Israel and once in 3hours in the USA. However, while in US and Turkish programming more than three quarters of the religious practices brought fulfillment to their participants and more than 90% of the practices adhered fully or partly to religious traditional law, in Israeli shows only one quarter of the practices brought fulfillment and just half of them were full or partial replicas of religious traditional rules. Speech about religion appeared just as infrequently as practices did, but its tone was mainly positive in all the three countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-114
Number of pages12
JournalAtlantic Journal of Communication
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Mar 2020

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