Professor Paul Baker of Lancaster University carried out a unique research entitled, ‘The Representation of Islam and Muslims in the UK Press 1998-2009’. Along with three other academics, Professor Baker embarked on a rigorous study that involved the analysis of more than 200,000 articles, equating to over 147million words of journalism. The use of “corpus linguistic methods” in creating an “acceptable bias” was amongst other objectives of their endeavour.
There were some interesting conclusions that were drawn from the research:
- For every positive article there were 21 negative articles.
- Words such as “extremist”, “radical”, “terrorist”, “fundamentalist” and “cleric” have become synonymous to Muslims in the media.
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