NEW DELHI — Mass Media, a monthly media research journal, in a survey found that Muslim readers feel unfairly represented in Hindi newspapers and gauge an ‘anti-Muslim’ bias in news coverage.
The survey, published in the its April issue of Mass Media, says that its Muslim respondents complain of anti-Muslim bias, hostile editorial policy and lack of coverage.
The survey, conducted across 20 Muslim localities in Delhi and five cities in Haryana, 76 per cent of respondents (all of whom were Muslims) believed that Hindi newspapers were biased against their community; 84 per cent of the readers said that Hindi newspapers did not give enough coverage to the minority community. The respondents said that Hindi newspapers “either don’t report about them or, if, at all they do, the tone and tenor of their reporting is negative.”
When asked if they were satisfied with the coverage of Muslims in Hindi newspapers, 67 per cent answered in the negative.
The survey also found that 44 per cent of respondents in Delhi and Haryana only read Hindi newspapers and 23 per cent read both Hindi and Urdu publications.
Majority of the respondents also felt that Hindi newspapers tended to gloss over Muslim news coverage and did not give space to minority voices in their publication, with 43 per cent saying that they rarely see news of Muslim interest or statements issued by Muslim leaders or organisations. Thirty-one percent of respondents estimated that they saw only one article concerned with minority issues per week.
Majority of the respondents, an overwhelming 79 per cent, also said that articles on Muslim interests such as Triple Talaq, Aligarh Muslim University or Babri Masjid were supportive of stance of the BJP or the RSS on the issue.
The survey, conducted between December 2018 and January 2019, covered areas surrounding Delhi’s Jama Masjid (Kishangnaj, Ballimaran, Nabi Karim); East Delhi (Ghonda, Jafarabad, Mustafabad, Mansarover Park, Seemapuri, Loni); South Delhi (Abul Fazal Enclave, Zakir Nagar, Shaheen Bagh, Kanchan Kunj, Jaitpur, Vasundhra Enclave, Trilokpuri), West Delhi (Raghubir Nagar, Uttam Nagar, Jahangirpuri, Vikas Nagar) and Haryana (Ballabh Garh, Nooh, Panipat, Shakrawa, Gurugram). — News18