News coverage makes violence more likely new study shows

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A US study has found that Islamophobia is rife in the nation’s media. .And that it leads directly to violence.

The analysis shows a disturbing narrative link between Muslims and extremism, and then over-represents violent responses to politically motivated conflict.

The report, Mixed Messages: How the Media Covers “Violent Extremism” and What You Can Do About It, reviewed more than 600 news items from 20 major U.S. news outlets.

Among the key findings:

* A staggering 90 percent of coverage mention Islam, even when neither Islam nor Islamic extremism was the story’s main subject. But only 13 percent of articles mentioned Christianity, and only 4 percent of articles mentioned Judaism.

* The media frames extremist groups as both “cunning” and “crazy” – sometimes both at the same time – suggesting violence is the only possible response, and ignoring decades of proof that nonviolent tactics like dialogue and diplomacy are more effective at ending conflicts.

* There is five times more coverage of bombings, drone strikes, and other violent response to incidents than nonviolent responses – like peace talks.

The report offers three recommendations to help advocates, journalists and readers and viewers change this narrative and bring under-reported facts to light. Specifically:

* Tell stories that highlight common humanity, especially that of historically marginalized groups – including Muslims.

* Highlight the history, complexity and root causes of politicized organized violence, without resorting to stereotypes like “crazy” or “coldly calculating’ extremists.

* Cover nonviolence and peacebuilding efforts that work instead of just military options.

“Wars on terror, extremism, or other nations do not happen by accident. Islamophobia in the media or in public discourse does not happen by accident. Both are choices. We have been able to choose to create lasting social change in the past, and make great strides forward towards peace with justice. We can do it again today,” the report concludes.

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8 thoughts on “News coverage makes violence more likely new study shows

  1. But what’s your personal opinion?
    Is Islam anti-Christ, as in Anti-Holy Spirit.

    The Bible calls Ishmael a wild donkey of a man. The Pope is quoted this week as saying:

    “the idea of conquest is integral to Islam as a religion” Intriguing that his Holiness’ response is to promote secularism.

    So has God called you to choose sides in an unavoidable attack on the Holy Spirit? And by News agencies under-reporting violence will 1300+ years of wars stop?

    Over to you Bryan. You are the reporter making reporting itself the story. So what is your plan? Change the reporting and peace suddenly descends everywhere?

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  2. And with this rubbish in a NEWS CORP publication where have the standards gone.
    Who penned this crap??
    Suit stolen off body of real mafia Don
    TO paraphrase Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee, you call nicking a watch off a fake Godfather a theft? Stealing the suit off the body of a real mafia Don — that’s a theft. News that a paramedic this week appeared in an Italian court charged with

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  3. I like their recommendations.
    * Tell stories that highlight common humanity, especially that of historically marginalized groups – including Muslims.

    * Highlight the history, complexity and root causes of politicized organized violence, without resorting to stereotypes like “crazy” or “coldly calculating’ extremists.

    * Cover nonviolence and peacebuilding efforts that work instead of just military options.

    It’s easy enough to see what’s happening is wrong, but harder to think of solutions. I see these recommendations, and wonder about starting a petition to all media outlets. That’s a ‘should do’, not a ‘will do.’ They say good intentions are a road that doesn’t go anywhere nice!

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    • Hi Strewth

      Depends where you get your news.
      I personally subscribe to news from various outlets and countries.
      I like Turkish news because you get the Islamic perspective from Muslims themselves.
      I have found various sites covering common humanity.
      The problem with history is that you get various versions anyway and yes it is complex.
      As for not calling extremists cold, well, they are not warm.

      The issue is also we westerners are so shallow in our discussions about topics, with social media and the 24 hour news cycle. It is now easier to resort to stereo types and false reporting.

      The news today does not report news but makes it up, fabricates it and twists it all too often.

      I am positive and agree with the reports for peace and justice. It will take time.

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  4. there’s never been a generation so determined to celebrate self destruction.

    Yet the blood of Jesus, is so sinner’s don’t have to whip themselves. Self flagellation won’t get you closer to God.

    self immolation, like three burnt to the ground Geelong Churches, hasn’t improved you.
    Your estate is taxed. Bankrupt.

    …..But self censor if the delusion feels good.

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  5. Portrayal of real life violence is I believe a worse problem than fantasy violence in games. Most, even children, recognise fantasy for what it is, but when it becomes part of real life we can become inured to it.

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