As before, this is another article about the work I was commissioned to undertake for the Greater London Authority. You cannot use the widget to the right to open the article in a new window so you will have to click on the following link:
The report, ‘The Search for Common Ground,’ was researched by 9 leading academics, professionals from the media industry and experts on Islam, and shows that during the period of investigation the national media overwhelming portrayed Muslims and Islam in a negative way.
Speaking on the occasion ,The Mayor said:
‘While there were some examples of good practice, one of the most startling findings of this report is that in one typical week in 2006, over 90% of the articles that referred to Islam and Muslims were negative. The overall picture presented by the media is that Islam is profoundly different from and a threat to the west.
‘I hope that those who make the day – to – day decisions in the newsrooms of our national papers and TV will read this report and take on board the researchers recommendations.
Among the key findings of the report are that in one week, 8th to the 14th May 2006 there were 352 articles that mentioned Islam, Muslim, Islamic or Islamist, in the national daily press and of those 91% were deemed by the professional researcher team to have been negative.
In 12 out of 19 papers covered, the researchers concluded that every article carried was negative. 96% of Tabloid coverage was assessed to be negative while 89% of broadsheet reporting was deemed to be negative.
They also found that Muslims in the national press were portrayed as being a threat to traditional British customs, that there was little or no common ground between the West and Islam and that the tone of language in many articles was emotive, immoderate, alarmist or abusive.
Robin Richardson was the leader of the team that produced the report and is Co-Director of the Insted Consultancy, the company that undertook the research project said:
‘This is one of the first major pieces of research to be conducted into the manner and style of the way the UK media portrays one of the UK’s most significant religious and cultural groups. Our clear conclusion after twelve months of research and taking evidence is that the coverage we saw over this period was likely to provoke and increase feelings of insecurity, suspicion and anxiety amongst many non Muslims while at the same time causing many Muslims to feel vulnerable and alienated.
Out of London’s eight million population, there are over 600,000 Muslims living in the British capital. The report was researched between the 1st May 20006 and 30th April 2007.