Terror attacks by Muslims receive 357% more press attention, study finds

Research by the University of Alabama shows attacks by Muslims receive an average of 105 headlines, others just 15

Research by the University of Alabama shows attacks by Muslims receive an average of 105 headlines, others just 15

Terrorist attacks committed by Muslim extremists receive 357% more US press coverage than those committed by non-Muslims, according to new research from the University of Alabama. The researchers controlled for factors like target type, number of fatalities, and whether or not the perpetrators were arrested before reaching their final statistic.

Terrorist attacks committed by non-Muslims (or where the religion was unknown) received an average of 15 headlines, while those committed by Muslim extremists received 105 headlines.

The findings, which are illustrated below, were based on all terrorist attacks in the US between 2006 and 2015 according to the Global Terrorism Database. The disparity in media coverage is particularly out of sync with the reality given that white and rightwing terrorists carried out nearly twice as many terrorist attacks as Muslim extremists between 2008 and 2016.

Not all headlines have the same audience, though. Lead researcher Erin Kearns explained: “We broke it down by the two different types of sources and we found that the over-coverage is much bigger among national news sources than local papers.”

A new Guardian documentary, White Fright, follows one case of an attack plotted by a non-Muslim. In 2015, Robert Doggart was convicted for planning an attack on Islamberg, a small community in New York. Doggart’s plan was described as “terroristic” by a US attorney.

The study is forthcoming in Justice Quarterly. A previous paper which looked only at the period 2011 to 2015 is available here.

Source: The Guardian by

M. Waqas Abdullah

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