Toronto - According to a new report from researchers at Georgia State University, terror attacks committed by Muslims in the US receive five times the media coverage than when the perpetrators are non-Muslim.
Toronto – According to a new report from researchers at Georgia State University, terror attacks committed by Muslims in the US receive five times the media coverage than when the perpetrators are non-Muslim.
The study covers all US-related terror attacks during the five-year period from 2011 to 2015. What it found was a 449 percent increase in media attention when the perpetrator was Muslim.
The most high-profile of these attacks was the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The report reveals that media coverage of the event accounted for a whopping 20 percent of the total US-related terror coverage for the five-year period covered in the study.
When compared to media coverage of terror attacks perpetrated by non-Muslims, the results are undeniable. A 2012 attack on a Sikh temple which left six people dead and was carried out by a Caucasian man, received just 3.8 percent coverage. By the same token, the notorious Dylan Roof attack on an African-American church in South Carolina where nine people were murdered, received only 7.4 percent.
Authors of the report are quick to point out that their data offers irrefutable proof that US President Donald Trump has been feeding the American public errant information when he claims that the media has been under-reporting Muslim terrorist attacks.
“When President Trump asserted that the media does not cover some terrorist attacks enough, it turns out that he was correct,” they write. “However, his assertion that attacks by Muslim perpetrators received less coverage is unsubstantiated.”
They add that “Regardless of other factors, attacks perpetrated by Muslims receive a disproportionate amount of media coverage. In the present data, Muslims perpetrated 12.4 per cent of the attacks yet received 41.4 per cent of the news coverage.”
The report is equally quick to point out that all the non-Muslim attacks covered in the study meet accepted criteria to be classified a terror attack. The data suggests that the disproportionate coverage is creating an irrational fear of Muslims in American culture.
“Whether the disproportionate coverage is a conscious decision on the part of journalists or not, this stereotyping reinforces cultural narratives about what and who should be feared,” the report says.
“By covering terrorist attacks by Muslims dramatically more than other incidents, media frame this type of event as more prevalent. Based on these findings, it is no wonder that Americans are so fearful of radical Islamic terrorism. Reality shows, however, that these fears are misplaced,” the report conclude.