Not only during the period where in which the two respective newspapers were analysed but it can be seen that for quite some time many newspapers have on many occasions portrayed the face of radical Islam in the form of Abu Hamza the one eyed Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque. In the early hours of the 20th of January, police raided the Findsbury Park Mosque and subsequently for quite a few days after many articles were run together with the picture of the radical Imam who is considered to represent not even a minority of Muslims in the UK.
Nevertheless the portrayal by both newspapers in particular The Daily Mail of Hamza has led ignorant non-Muslim communities to believe that Hamza is a significant member of the Muslim community. Articles referring Hamza as a ‘cleric’ and ‘a leader of Muslims’ together with pictures of him with his looks which are different to western social norms, his hooks and single eye, scars of warfare which are typical traits of barbarism conjures the colonial or rather crusader negative stereotypical image of Muslims, a form of racism indeed, for which academics have coined a new word ‘Islamaphobia’.
The Daily Mail has undertaken a racist attitude in the manner by which it has reported news in recent times. We see that ‘the others’ are stereotyped; marginalized and positive imagery of them is excluded from gaining substantial coverage in the pages. Stories regarding ‘the others’, with biased aspects that contain negative connotations such as crime, abduction, drugs, violence etc are reported abundantly and thus the negative aspects of subordinate groups have been magnified, something which is most typical in prejudiced racist literature.
Through the usage of headlines, lay outs and metaphors minority ethnic communities and asylum seekers are portrayed as being different and also a threat to the British society. On the other hand The Mirror has at times let it self slip and has ran stories where in which the negative aspects of ‘the others’ are magnified, but in general it has endeavoured to give a rather more balanced out look in its’ coverage of recent events.
The Mirror has also endeavoured to keep the ‘asylum’ and ‘terrorism’ issues separate, but on the other hand The Daily Mail has not been so fair and in a racial manner has interwoven both aspects rather intimately. Hence in conclusion it could be said that within mainstream media one would be able to say that in large bias/racism is rather explicit, as is the case amongst the tabloids, on the other hand on a rather much more subtle and indirect manner the quality press is not perfect either. In present times racism is mainly aimed at immigrants, foreigners’ refugees and minorities
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Collins, J. and Glover, R. (2002) Collateral Language. New York: New York University Press
McNair, B. (1998) The Sociology of Journalism. London: Routledge.