Western Mainstream Media and Coverage of the Muslim World

On October 4, 2018, TRT World Research Centre held a roundtable meeting on Western Mainstream Media and Coverage of the Muslim World. This was part of a series of roundtable meetings forming part of the two-day TRT World Forum 2018, which included eight public sessions and 11 closed sessions. This roundtable meeting was held in English under the Chatham House Rule. This rule stipulates that ‘when a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.’ The focus was on the coverage of the Muslim World during the Post-9/11 period that was characterised by the exacerbation of conflicts– such as the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – intrastate conflict in Syria, civil war in Libya and general political instability in the Muslim world. As a consequence, Islam has come to be associated with violence and terror in the coverage of the Muslim world by mainstream Western media. Instead of delving into the complex historical, geopolitical, political, economic, and social dynamics underpinning the conflicts in the Middle East, Islam has been depicted as the core reason behind the prevalence of anti-modernism, exclusiveness, and hostility to outsiders. This disjunction between the roots of the current conflicts in the Muslim world and their portrayal in the mainstream Western media were discussed in this session.