| ||The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published a report titled “Madrassas in the British Media”, which presents preliminary findings of an extensive analysis of “the way that madrassas have been portrayed by national and local media over the past decade.”|
Some of the findings of the report are presented below, and you can read the full report here.
“The strongly negative headlines generated by events such as 9/11 and 7/7 have changed the way that Muslims and Islam are discussed in the press. Madrassas (particularly those in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan) are now frequently mentioned in the context of debates about radicalisation and extremism, and it is likely that this has had an important impact on the way that they are perceived by policymakers and in communities in Britain.”
“Our analysis reveals that some newspapers have been particularly active in covering news around madrassas. Nationally, The Times, Guardian, Daily Mail and Telegraph have included more articles referring to madrassas in the UK than other news sources. Locally, there have been greater levels of coverage in the Yorkshire Post, the Bradford-based Telegraph and Argus and the London-based Evening Standard.”
“...the number of articles on madrassas has increased since 2002, with 11 times more articles being found in 2010 than in 2002.”
Both the headlines and the topic/narrative of each of the articles were analysed for the report to see the degree to which they painted either a positive or negative view of madrassas in the UK. The findings highlight a divide between national and local media coverage:
“An initial comparison of headlines immediately reveals a national versus local divide. Local newspapers have equal proportions of negative and objective headlines (32 per cent), and a slightly higher proportion of positive headlines (37 per cent). However, national headlines are significantly more likely to be negative (54 per cent) than objective (27 per cent) or positive (19 per cent). This divergence might be explained by the fact that headlines are associated with sales and so national newspapers (with their higher daily circulation levels) are more likely to seek to make a profit with an attention-grabbing headline than with an objective one.”
“The data indicates that the majority of stories about madrassas in national newspapers have been negative (and are more likely to use inflammatory language and biased representations), while local papers have been more objective.”
“This tendency towards negative coverage is arguably a result of what newspapers consider to be newsworthy. With thousands of active madrassas in the UK, newspapers are more likely to pick up on examples of bad practice and report them in a way that generates greater interest in the story.”
“The most consistently negative national newspaper is seen to be the Daily Mail, with 88 per cent of its coverage of madrassas being framed in a negative way.”
When articles are broken down according to their dominant storyline, the findings show that national articles are dominant in coverage around the “role and influence of madrassas in relation to extremist activities. Local coverage on the other hand is more focused on the positive role that these institutions might play in preventing extremism by, for instance, teaching pupils about the real values of Islam instead of leaving that role to more radical groups capable of exploiting young people’s ignorance.”
When analysing the spokespeople used by both national and local media in their articles, the report finds an “absence of members of the community and madrassa representatives themselves, particularly in national articles, potentially perpetuating a view of madrassas that may not be the reality for those engaging directly with them or working within them.”
“National articles cited reports and spokespeople from think-tanks or charities far more frequently than local articles. In contrast, local articles were the only ones that published comments from police representatives and more commonly represented the views of madrassa staff. Local articles also used Muslim representatives to a greater degree than national articles, perhaps revealing a more balanced approach to the selection of commentators.”
The final report of the study will be published in September 2011.
|< Prev||Next >|