Zurich, April 3, 2009: Personalisation takes only slowly hold of the field of religion: While the Pope and the Dalai Lama achieved significant reporting in TV news world-wide, Muslim leaders do not get a hearing in the main evening TV news. This result of Media Tenor´s 2009 Annual Dialogue Report on Religion Values will be presented to the UN Alliance of Civilisations´ Istanbul Forum on April 6th/7th. “The Annual Dialogue Report shows, how the media is portraying the ‘other side´ in the interaction between the Muslim World and the West. Our data shows, how strongly media reporting about religion shapes the public image of Islam in Western media and Christianity in the Islamic World”, explains Roland Schatz, President and Founder of Media Tenor International.
Media Tenor has analysed the volume and tone of coverage of religions and values globally in the main evening TV news in 8 countries ranging from the US to South Africa and Lebanon. More than 210,000 statements in 17 news programs have been collected for the period from April 2007 until February 2009.
Coverage of religions is rather multifaceted: While reporting about the Dalai Lama accounts for more than 40% of all information about Buddhism, coverage of Islam does not focus on the religious leaders.
In absolute terms, the Pope gets the most intensive coverage overall: With almost 8,000 statements, Benedict XVI. leads with a wide margin, followed by the Dalai Lama, who was covered in more than 2,000 statements. “Engaging mass media has become essential for religious leaders in the 21st century, when they want to reach out to the public”, concludes Dr. Christian Kolmer, Head of NGO analysis and project manager with Media Tenor. “The rules of the media world favour news about conflict and negative events – religious leaders need to assume a stronger public role in order to get out their message of peace and understanding to the World.”
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