Report: 60% of UK online news articles about Muslims are negative

By Charlotte Tobitt

The editors of The Sunday Times and Daily Mirror have backed a report that found almost 60% of online news articles made negative associations with Muslims and Islam and called for “fairer” reporting.

The top three news providers most likely to publish negative articles about Muslims were the agencies AFP, Reuters and Associated Press, the report claimed.  It argued they “set the framing of Muslims and Islam” in news reporting.

It called on news wires to “take particular care” in the terms they use given they are often copied wholesale by other media, as well as in their “reliance on singular witness reports especially related to terrorism given how unreliable they have been proven to be in many cases”.

The research from the Muslim Council of Britain’s Centre for Media Monitoring (CfMM) also found that 47% of TV clips associated Muslims or Islam with negative traits or behaviour.

The CfMM was founded by Miqdaad Versi, who routinely monitors press coverage of Muslims and Islam and makes complaints where he feels they are appropriate to the UK press regulators.

A Reuters spokesperson told Press Gazette: “Reuters is committed to reporting on the world in a fair, independent and balanced way, consistent with our trust principles.

“We are also committed to building a diverse newsroom that reflects the world we report on, and ensuring our journalism accurately represents diverse perspectives. We welcome this report and will review its findings.”

The new report follows analysis of almost 48,000 online news articles and more than 5,500 TV clips following daily monitoring of coverage mentioning Muslims and Islam, whether in a passing manner or as the main focus of a story.

Some 34 mainstream news and current affairs websites and 38 TV channels, including all regional channels, were monitored between October 2018 and September 2019. A broader sweep of coverage was also examined in 2019/2020, taking in some of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report accused publications on the right politically of “increasingly regurgitating far-right tropes” and claimed commentators on the right “continuously rail against Muslims as an existential threat to Britain and the wider world”.

Read further

Suggested reading for living in the image of the Loving and the Most Merciful God by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times:

Thirty Plus Quotes from the Poet of Love

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

A Message of Compassion and Love from the Holy Bible

True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

Abou Ben Adhem, A Compassionate Man

‘Love Hormone,’ How it works in Hospitality?

‘Love Hormone’ Oxytocin May Enhance Feelings Of Spirituality

I am a Jew, a Catholic, a Christian and a Muslim; I am Zia H Shah

Categories: Islamophobia

2 replies

  1. The Islamophobia controversy engulfing Rep. Lauren Boebert escalated to a full boil Monday after the Colorado Republican went after Rep. Ilhan Omar in a video following a tense phone call between the two.

    Boebert claimed in a video that she sought to deescalate tensions with Omar after a video circulated on social media last week of the conservative lawmaker making anti-Muslim remarks, calling Omar a member of the “jihad squad” and saying the Minnesota Democrat was safe to ride with in a Capitol elevator so long as she wasn’t wearing a backpack.

    When Boebert called Omar on Monday, the firebrand freshman said she attempted to explain that she had not meant to impugn Omar’s religion — but the exchange ended with the Democrat continuing to insist on public contrition, to which Boebert herself replied with an insistence on a public apology. The back-and-forth will only ratchet up the friction between the two parties ahead of the House’s return from Thanksgiving break on Tuesday.

    It’s the second time this month that a GOP lawmaker has faced blowback for offensive comments about a Democratic colleague. Just before Thanksgiving, House Democrats moved swiftly to punish Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) after he posted an anime video depicting the killing of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.); Gosar was censured and stripped of his committees.

    This time, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team sharply condemned Boebert’s comments but demanded that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy be the one to act against the Coloradan. Omar echoed that sentiment in her own statement on Monday afternoon.

    “This is not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has mainstreamed bigotry and hatred,” Omar wrote in a statement released after her call with Boebert. “It is time for Republican Leader McCarthy to actually hold his party accountable.”

  2. (CNN)Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado suggested to a crowd in September that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, whom she called “black-hearted” and “evil,” was a terrorist.

    In those same remarks, she said that she felt safe around Omar because the Democrat wasn’t wearing a backpack while they were in an elevator together.

    It’s another instance in which Boebert suggested Omar, who is Muslim and wears a hijab, was a terrorist. On Monday, the two lawmakers sent dueling statements about a phone call between the pair set up by Boebert after she apologized last week to “to anyone in the Muslim community I offended,” when similar comments surfaced on social media.

    The video of Boebert’s anti-Muslim comments, made in New York at a September Staten Island Conservative Party dinner, were posted on Facebook that month by an attendee running for borough president.

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