Jul Jacobsen, Sara, Tina Gudrun Jensen, Kathrine Vitus, and Kristina Weibel. Analysis of Danish Media Setting and Framing of Muslims, Islam and Racism. København: The Danish National Centre for Social Research, 2013.
This paper presents the results of two case studies exploring the role which the Danish newspaper Media play in the reproduction of racial and ethnic inequalities. One case study analyses representations of Muslims and Islam in Danish newspapers, the other the presence and absence of discussions about racism and discrimination of ethnic minorities in Denmark. The analyses are based on, respectively, a two-month and a two-week monitoring of four Danish newspapers between mid-October and mid-December 2011. A relatively large share of the news stories dealing with Muslims and Islam was negatively framed and restricted to certain topics such as extremism, terror and sharia, whereas positive actions and critical topics like racism and discrimination against Muslims were more or less nonexistent in the Media coverage. Constructed through an antagonistic and hierarchical relationship between ‘Danes’ and ‘Muslims’, Muslim culture and Islam tended to be represented as a threat to Danish society and so-called Danish values. The reporting was rather one-sided and exclusive of minority voices, and when Muslims were given voice, the same few publicly visible and vocal actors appeared. At the same time, the lives and opinions of the less visible majority of Muslims more or less vanished in the Media coverage. In this way, the newspapers constructed a distorted and negative picture of Muslims and their religion, and thereby contributed to a general climate of intolerance and discrimination against Muslim minorities.