Terror attacks carried out by Muslims receive more than five times as much media coverage as those carried out by non-Muslims in the United States, according to an academic study. Analysis of coverage of all terrorist attacks in the US between 2011 and 2015 found there was a 449 per cent increase in media attention when the perpetrator was Muslim. Muslims committed just 12.4% of attacks during the period studied but received 41.4% of news coverage, the survey found. The authors said the finding suggests the media is making people disproportionately fearful of Muslim terrorists.
Scientists studied US newspaper coverage of every terrorist attack on American soil and counted up the total number of articles dedicated to each attack. They found that the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which was carried out by two Muslim attackers and killed three people, received almost 20% of all coverage relating to US terror attacks in the five-year period. In contrast, reporting of a 2012 massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left six people dead and was carried out by Wade Michael Page – a white man, constituted just 3.8% of coverage.
A mass shooting by Dylann Roof, who is also white, at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, killed nine people but received only 7.4% of media coverage, while a 2014 attack by Frazier Glenn Miller on a Kansas synagogue left three dead but accounted for just 3.3% of reports. All of the above attacks are considered to meet widely-used definitions of terrorism, according to researchers at Georgia State University.