During its violent spread across the Middle East, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) amassed both a local and international following in large part due to its usage of emergent media distribution. Beginning in 2014, ISIS’s Ministry of Media published an English-language magazine, Dabiq, disseminating its issues through online platforms. Dabiq and its successor Rumiyah both serve as propagandistic recruitment material for ISIS’s international community as well as broadcasting the message of the jihadist movement to ISIS’s enemies. This study analyzed ISIS’s publications using a qualitative content analysis in order to identify jihadist recruitment strategies through the perspectives of agenda-setting theory, the diffusion of innovations, symbolic convergence theory, and speech codes theory. These communication theories characterize the roles that civilizational conflict, population demographics, narrative themes, and emergent media play in the diffusion of the jihadist movement. This study samples the textual content and imagery of issues of Dabiq and Rumiyah, using thematic analysis to procedurally code the data by recognizing shared characteristics and concepts. The fundamental goal of this study is to gain a greater understanding of the way ISIS, its members, and the jihadist movement communicate their intentions, with the hope of preventing further recruitment and radicalization. The two following research questions drive this study: (1) What themes are present in the ISIS publications of Dabiq and Rumiyah? (2) How do the themes of these publications vary over time?

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair

Matusitz, Jonathan


Neuberger, Lindsay; Reynolds, Ted


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences


Nicholson School of Communication

Degree Program

Human Communication


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date


Restricted to the UCF community until 5-1-2018; it will then be open access.