- Lebanese/Middle Eastern
- Other, Please specify
2. Do you find that there is more positive or negative media coverage on Islamic people? - More positive
- More negative
- About the same
- I don’t know
If more positive, skip to question 4.
If more negative, continue to question 3.
3. If more negative, has the media’s portrayal of Islamic people stereotyped all Muslims in a negative way? * Yes
4. Do you believe that the media’s perception on Islam has changed due to the 2001 attacks in New York? - yes
5. Are you socially associated with Islamic people?
The Impact of Media Representations on the Understanding of Islam and Attitudes toward Muslims Abstract:
Muslims comprise only a small proportion of the Australian population. Thus, rather than knowing Islam and Muslims through direct interaction, for the majority of Australians the mass media is their primary source of information about this faith and its adherents. This paper uses the term ‘mass media Islam’ to describe the version of Islam that is constructed by the media. It argues that this version is often a distortion of reality and perpetuates misunderstandings, stereotypes, and negative relations between Muslims and the wider society. Presented in this paper are the findings of analysis on the representation of Islam and Muslims in the Australian press as well as the findings of research on the impact of this content on the public’s knowledge of Islam and attitudes towards Muslims. The paper argues that interaction between Muslims and the wider Australian society is the most effective means of offsetting the impact of mass media Islam and that it results in positive perceptions of Islam and Muslims and more harmonious social relations. The Challenges and...