Media content and inter-community relations
This chapter takes the issue of media representation to its logical conclusion and explores the relationship between media coverage of Islam and relations between Muslims and the wider Australian society. Based on the findings of a survey on the public's media use, knowledge of Islam, interactions with Muslims and attitudes towards Muslims, this chapter reveals that while the media is the primary source of information about Islam and Muslims, this does not necessarily translate into negative attitudes towards them. It contends that direct interaction with Muslim people is an effective means of improving inter-community relations and offsetting the impact of pejorative representations of Islam in the media. The author highlights that perceptions that the media lacks credibility has fostered scepticism among the Australian public on issues concerning Muslims and thereby reduced the extent of the impact that negative media representations of Islam and Muslims may otherwise have on inter-community relations.
Islam and the Australian news media