Following to News International phone hacking scandal the Leveson Inquiry has been investigating misconduct of the British press, mostly Rubert Murdock’ News Corporation. The inquiry has revealed shocking relations between the media, politicians and the police, and has informed the public how the media has been effectively used to influence certain government politics and to manipulate the public.
In an important report that has been submitted to the inquiry by Nafeez Ahmed entitled Race and Reform Islam and Muslims in the Britsh Media pointed out overwhelmingly negative, stereotypical, and racist media coverage of Islam and called the Leveson Inquiry along with a number of media professionals to urgently investigate how to hold the media accountable for this shocking lapse in journalistic standards.
Some of the senior journalists who were interviewed by the author of the report acknowledge the gloomy situation in the British media:
‘Jason Beattie, political editor of the Daily Mirror, said: “In general, though not exclusively, the portrayal of Muslims in the mainstream media has been unsatisfactory… [including] sloppy and sometimes stereotypical reporting.” Brian Cathcart, former deputy editor at The Independent on Sunday, similar notes that “where Muslims are concerned, some of the country’s top-selling newspapers have too often failed… damaging stereotypes have been adopted and repeated by some newspapers… Since these papers enjoy such wide circulation, this cannot fail to disadvantage Muslims in British society.”’
The report also provides valuable data regarding the rise of Islamphobia in the public as a result of negative media coverage.