Report: News coverage of Muslims is more negative than of other minority groups

A new study of how the media covers minorities in the United States finds that depictions of Muslims in the news remain by far the most frequent and the most negative.

“Muslims are just way down there in comparison to the other groups,” said Erik Bleich, director of the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project Lab at Vermont’s Middlebury College. “It’s pretty amazing.”

The lab’s report, released Tuesday (Sept. 3), analyzes 26,626 articles mentioning African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Jews and Muslims that were published in 2018 in four national newspapers — The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

About 9,000 of those articles mentioned Islam or Muslims, which constituted more than a third of the total articles analyzed. The second-most-covered minority group were African Americans, who were the subject of about 6,500 articles. Jews were mentioned in nearly 6,000 articles, of which the average tone was neutral.

Researchers scored each article on how positive or negative it was, then compared the average result for each group to the average U.S. newspaper story. [Religion News Service] Read more