op-ed: Muslims Portrayed In a Negative Light By Media

How does the average non Muslim person feel towards Muslims? Could the press to blame? A new report out from Britain says that 91% of articles written about Muslims are negative in a one week study commissioned by London mayor Ken Livingstone.

“The overall picture presented by the media is that Islam is profoundly different from and a threat to the west,” he said. “There is a scale of imbalance which no fair-minded person would think is right.” Only 4% of the 352 articles studied were positive, he said.

The report showed how the media is in a way using scare tactics when it comes to the Muslim population even using Christmas as a way to put a negative spin on things. An article whose information proved to be false depicted that Christmas was being banned in an area because it offended the Muslims that lived there.

There were a total of 352 articles that were used in the study. Of those articles only 4% portrayed the Muslim community in a positive view.

“The charge is that there are virtually no positive or balanced images of Islam being portrayed,” he said.

“I think there is a demonisation of Islam going on which damages community relations and creates alarm among Muslims.”

In the past I have questioned if journalists can change the way others view the world. Now I think I need to rephrase the question and ask is it right to allow negative spins on different religious views?

In many online news sources and blogging communities you can see very negative articles about Muslims as a whole. The same can be said about any religious view if you look for it but the world has been on a Muslim witch hunt since 9/11.

As someone who puts articles out for view I have to temper my own feelings in some cases. It’s difficult not to slate our personal feelings when we are impassioned to write an article. Staying true to journalistic standards is a very hard concept to keep when it comes to personal beliefs.

The question now is how do we put aside our personal feelings and simply report the news. Should we leave out religious convictions of those being reported? If we took out the religion card in news reports would that change the way others feel about different religions?

I have to wonder if during the aftermath of 9/11 the term extremist radicals had been substituted for the term Muslim extremist radicals would that have a difference on the way Muslim people are depicted in the media today. There is no answer to that question.

The truth is in this world there are religious wars being fought. There are media and military wars between believers and nonbelievers, Christians and Muslims, Jews and Muslims, etc. Is there a way to report on these events without putting down one side or another?

The truth is out there but it depends on the keyboard what some truths are.

What is your truth?

5 responses to “op-ed: Muslims Portrayed In a Negative Light By Media

  • jonolan

    LOL What a crock of a study! How many positive articles are written period? Guess what, good news doesn’t sell. It’s been tried and it failed – repeatedly.

  • momentsintime

    It’s true that good news has a harder percentage when it comes to sales but is the demoralizing of an entire culture something that sells?

  • clues4sale

    Good article.

    That’s a tough one. I’ve worked with Muslim people and I have always found them to be solid decent individuals. That’s a small sample set but I certainly don’t view it as an “evil” religion or horribly “wrong” like some junk you see published.

    It’s unfortunate but since 9/11 many people co-relate the muslim faith with extremism and terorrism.

    I imagine your average Muslim in Iraq, for example, just wants to provide for their family and enjoy their spare time with the friends and family like the rest of us…

  • jonolan

    Pretty much every “culture” is demonized in the News. If you’re not so bland and secular that you’re not news, people like you will be vilified.

    I’ve lived all over the world and the average person anywhere “just wants to provide for their family and enjoy their spare time with the friends and family like the rest of us…” The average person doesn’t make the news 😦

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