People who read the news more likely to be Islamophobic, study finds

Research finds New Zealanders – who are generally ‘highly tolerant’ – show increased anger and reduced warmth towards Muslims if they are more avid news consumers.

People who read the news are more likely to feel angry towards Muslims, a new study has found.

Whether liberal or conservative, researchers found more avid news consumers showed both increased anger and reduced warmth towards members of the Islamic faith.

The findings, based on responses from 16,584 New Zealanders from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS), were published in leading international science journal PLOS ONE.

…. ”New Zealand is a good test for speculation about media-induced Muslim prejudice because of its overall highly tolerant people. If anything, tolerant Kiwis might tend to reject intolerant stereotypes, reducing the effect of the media.

“However we find that the association of prejudice towards Muslims with more media exposure holds across the political spectrum, and is specific to Muslims. [The Independent] Read more

New Zealand news junkies feel greater anger towards Muslims, study finds

Researchers from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study have found Kiwis who follow the news closely have greater prejudice towards Muslims than New Zealanders with less news exposure.

They also felt more anger and less warmth towards Muslims than they did towards other ethnic groups, such as Asians, Arabs, Pakeha and Maori.

Researchers found there was about twice as much anger towards Muslims as there was towards Asians, University of Otago religion lecturer Dr John Shaver, the study’s lead author, says.

“You see the more people watch the news, the more they are angry at Muslims. There’s also a trend of anger towards Arabs, but there’s no effect towards Asians,” Shaver says.

“New Zealand is a really tolerant society, and attitudes towards Muslims tend to be pretty good. The problem is, though, that there’s a sort of gap, and Muslims do seem to receive greater prejudice than other groups.” [Stuff.co.nz] Read more

Greater news exposure fuels anger towards Muslims: study

Higher exposure to news media may fuel Islamophobia, according to a new study which found that people show increased anger and reduced warmth towards Muslims if they are more avid news consumers.

Researchers have long suspected that the news media fuels Islamophobia, but these ideas had never been tested on a nation-wide scale.

The study is based on responses from 16,584 people in New Zealand.

Researchers found that people who are more avid news consumers – whether liberal or conservative – showed both increased anger and reduced warmth towards Muslims.

“People tend to interpret the news in ways that fit with their pre-existing biases, seeking affirmation of their beliefs while discounting conflicting information,” said John Shaver, from University of Otago in New Zealand. [DNA India] Read more