Influence of the Media in Religion

Sample Term Paper

Words 1,344

Islam has been portrayed in the media as a faith that needs to be altered if it is to exist in the “modern world” – that is if it fits the narrow frame of the western sensibilities. Neither, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism nor Buddhism has ever been exposed to such harsh condemnation, even if the members of these communities were involved in violent acts aimed at against Americans or the Western world in general. Since September 11, the media has apparently become more conscious of Muslim critiques to the media. Since then, the significant change, which took place in the media’s coverage of Islam and Muslims, was the existence of diversity in which Muslims voiced issues that alarm their religion.

Such repetitive slant in media coverage builds an environment in which bigotry is promoted. It is thus not shocking that radio and television talk shows are full of prejudice with both caller and host allegations that Muslims have either not condemned terrorism or have a link to it just because they practice Islam.  The latest Pew Forum survey shows that 58 percent of Americans believe Islam support violence and almost half of Americans, said they held hostile attitudes towards Islam compared with 24 percent in January 2002. (Goldenberg)

The influence of the media is evident from the above polls as people, according to Lippmann “we pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture” (Lippmann 55). Thus an ever-isolated society’s only viewing lens is the media and the society’s attitude is shaped by what they are told.

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