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A Balanced Media

 

Sounding Off

A public survey sounds off on how the mainstream media represents the Middle East and what Middle Easterners need to overcome it.

We’ve recently concluded our first extended public survey since 2010. Putting a finger on the pulse of the customer is always a good idea in business, and our business is no exception. We drafted the questions with the help and input of numerous community leaders, who took advantage of the opportunity to ask some of their most burning questions.

The survey was conducted from June 1 to August 20, 2013, via Survey Monkey and disseminated emailings, and 1,442 people replied to most of the 21 questions. ALO will present the full survey online, but we couldn’t wait to summarize some of the most interesting results.

On Media Bias

Respondents, mostly Caucasian, nearly universally agreed there is typically a mainstream U.S. media bias when the Middle East is portrayed.

BIASED 74%

UNBIASED 19%

NEUTRAL 7%

Some Comments:

“…different media sources will give a different slant on news and events regarding the Middle East depending on their political affiliation, or what corporation runs that media institution. It’s difficult to trust the mainstream media to portray a complete, well-rounded, and unbiased image of the Middle East.”

 

Overcoming the Bias

Readers and the public alike were asked what they think Middle Easterners need to overcome to achieve a positive media slant. Here are the numbers for the top five responses (more than one response could be given):

STEREOTYPES/UNFAIR
JUDGMENTS 43%

POLITICS 20%

AMERICAN
BIGOTRY 17%

RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM 11%

LACK OF RIGHTS/
WOMEN’S AND HUMAN 9%

Responses:

“We do not need to overcome anything. We need to accept the culture here. If we choose to live here, we need to adapt to the culture and not the other way around.”

“I don’t know if Middle Easterners need to overcome negativity or the media does. That’s part of the problem, given that we don’t know if there is another side to the story.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

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