Newspaper Coverage of Muslims is Negative. And it’s Not Because of Terrorism.

Newspaper Coverage of Muslims is Negative. And it’s Not Because of Terrorism.

Community members gather during funeral prayers for Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin, both of whom were shot dead  Aug. 13, 2016, in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens.  [Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images]

Community members gather during funeral prayers for Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin, both of whom were shot dead  Aug. 13, 2016, in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens. [Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images]

Last week, an Islamist attacked the Strasbourg Christmas market in France and, once again, news outlets were filled with stories about Muslims and violence. Many observers believe that’s typical. Researchers have found again and again that coverage of Muslims in the American and global media is predominantly negative.

But are the media overly negative about Muslims? Given the prominence of violent Islamist terrorism and extremism since September 2001, negative stories about Muslims may simply be a result of journalists reporting the news.

We examined this and found that U.S. newspapers associate Muslims with far more negativity than terrorism or extremism would explain.

Erik Bleich and A. Maurits van der Veen, writing for the Washington Post, examine media coverage of Muslims. What they found is fascinating.

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