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Media Visibility and Minority Religion

Struggle for Acceptance

By Stephanie Whiteside

When it comes to religious diversity in the United States, the most common gathering includes a few Christian perspectives, a Jewish viewpoint and an Islamic voice. Yet the religious landscape of America includes many other voices, which often remain invisible to the general public. For adherents of minority faiths, the lack of information can raise roadblocks to acceptance and misinformation can fuel misunderstanding.

Religion reporting has declined in the U.S. in recent years. A 2011 Pew Study found that news stories about religion accounted for 0.7 percent of mainstream media coverage in 2011, down from 2 percent in 2010. Islam was the primary focus, and the majority of news stories about religion were tied to specific events, including the so-called radical Islam hearings in Congress and stories about anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S.

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