British Arab Muslim audiences and television after September 11

Harb, Z. & Bessaiso, E. (2006). British Arab Muslim audiences and television after September 11. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32(6), 1063-1076.

This article focuses on the Western media systems and their way of representing the Islam and Muslims. It mostly focuses on cultural politics in news discourse. Western media have the tendency to use stereotypical formats and concepts like ‘us’, ‘them’ and ‘the other’. It gives a clear explanation of how media could reinforce divergence between ethnic groups, and strengthen the notion ‘ethnocentrism’. “News media today try to maximize their ratings but they no longer can reach the same (national) audiences” (Harb & Bessaiso, 2009, p. 1073). Consequently, the British audience became fragmented and the Muslim audience became less interested in British news, but rather choose to watch Arabic channels like Al-Jazeera which they can identify themselves with. This occurrence also contribute to divergence , which can damage the public sphere.

This article indicates that the information flow has changed and that are alternative channels and sources available with different perspectives and views. However, every channel has a particular audience and these are still divided. This article gives me another reason to find the factors that influence the news outcome of a certain national channel, because the different views presented are still not put together and is not accessible to ‘all’ audiences.