Ignorance about religion in the media and society generally is leading to misreporting and misinformation, according to a new book launched at a Lapido Media event in central London yesterday.
Blind Spot: When Journalists don't get Religion is published by Oxford University Press.
Co-editor, Paul Marshall, told guests at the launch:
"Many journalists tend to interpret radicalism through a grid of Western concerns such as poverty, ethnicity and what’s happening in the Middle East.
"To the degree that our views of the nature and goals of Islamist terrorism are shaped by the media, we are consistently being misinformed about the nature of our enemies and the nature of the conflicts we are in. A massive indifference to religion by secular journalists resulted in 9/11 and 7/7."
Tom Holland, a New Statesman contributor and historian, said that Marshall's analysis was more true of America than UK. He had had no difficulty placing his own articles, and writing history had provoked in him a "protracted damascene conversion".
"In this country there’s a considerable interest in religion by those who run the media. The blind spot is in the populace as a whole."
To listen to the podcast of the event, click here.