Media bias during extreme intergroup conflict: The naming bias in reports of religious violence in Indonesia

Amarina, Matthew J. Hornsey, Thomas A. Morton, Cindy Gallois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the media are regularly charged with bias, empirical evidence of media bias is variable. The aim of the current research was to explore the utility of an intergroup perspective to understanding media bias as it emerges in the context of intergroup conflict. Content analysis was conducted on accounts of ongoing Christian-Muslim conflict in Ambon, Indonesia, as reported in both Christian and Muslim newspapers. This revealed the operation of a 'naming bias', whereby both Christian and Muslim newspapers were more likely to explicitly name the religious outgroup as perpetrators of intergroup conflict than they were to attribute responsibility to their own group. The prevalence of this bias was, however, asymmetrical across the two groups: it was pronounced in the Muslim newspaper but minimised in the Christian one. This pattern was evident in a general sample of media reports, and in a sample of matched reports in which the same incident was covered by both papers. The naming bias and its variable operation is explained with reference to social psychological theorising about intergroup dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Intergroup relations
  • Media bias
  • Religious conflict

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Media bias during extreme intergroup conflict: The naming bias in reports of religious violence in Indonesia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this