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Reaching out in a climate of negativity: perceptions and persistence among Muslim sources engaging with news media

Munnik, Michael B. 2018. Reaching out in a climate of negativity: perceptions and persistence among Muslim sources engaging with news media. Contemporary Islam 12 (3) , pp. 211-277. 10.1007/s11562-018-0415-0

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Abstract

The conceptions sources have of journalists influence whether and in what ways those sources engage with the news media. In this paper, I consider the contribution of Muslim sources to news in a context of perceived negativity. Scholarship on the content of British news stories about Muslims has found a consistently negative tone; my study examines the impressions of sources as co-producers of that content. My data come from qualitative fieldwork conducted in Glasgow, Scotland, studying relationships between journalists and Muslim sources through a combination of methods, with an emphasis on interviews. In these interviews, sources articulated an overwhelmingly negative conception of journalists and news organisations. I consider different constructions of negativity and what they suggest about how participants perceive the media, and I problematise the minority instances of positive conceptions. Finally, I evaluate why sources who identify as Muslim would bother participating in media production, given this perception of negativity. This discussion is informed by Couldry’s concept of ‘media meta-capital’ (Couldry 2003), which a macro-level power that imposes other fields of public life, and Schlesinger’s attentiveness to source strategies (Schlesinger 1990), a form of agency at the micro-level. This case study suggests that, whatever sources think of media coverage, their choice to contribute to its production is conditioned by strategic considerations, revealing development in the media’s relations with Muslims in Britain.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1872-0218
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 March 2018
Date of Acceptance: 17 March 2018
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2018 12:15
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/110086

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