The Arab American National Museum, in conjunction with the National Network for Arab American Communities partnered with the National Voices Project to conduct a national survey to measure the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in the media and its impact on children. This report represents the initial findings of the national survey.

Over 2,600 adults from 48 states and D.C. that work or volunteer in ways that affect education, healthcare, economic opportunities, or community and civic engagement for children were surveyed.
 
Respondents were asked:
"Do you think there is persistent negative bias in the media against people from the following groups?"
 
Proportion of responses who perceived negative bias in the media against groups
 
  • Persistent negative bias in the media is the highest for Muslims and Arabs / Arab Americans compared with eight other racial / ethnic / religious groups.
  • Nearly half of adults believe there is persistent negative bias in the media against Muslims.
  • 44% of adults believe there is persistent negative bias in the media against Arabs / Arab Americans.

Perceptions of Bias in the Media—Within Specific Subgroups

1 p<.05 for comparison between those that do not work or volunteer with Arab / Arab American children
2 p<.05 for comparison between those that do not have ‘some’ or ‘a lot’ of Arab / Arab Americans in the community that they know best

  • In this study, over 800 respondents work or volunteer with Arab / Arab American children. Among these respondents, over half believe there is persistent negative bias in the media against Muslims and almost half believe there is persistent negative media bias against Arabs / Arab Americans.
  • Over 1,400 respondents reported that they have ‘some’ or ‘a lot’ of Arabs / Arab Americans in the community they know best (either where they live, work or volunteer). Among these respondents, about half believe there is persistent negative bias in the media against Muslims and Arabs / Arab Americans.
NOTES:
The survey was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan as part of the National Voices Project, a five-year study commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The National Voices Project is designed to measure community-level opportunities for children and teens in the U.S., according to the perceptions of adults who work and volunteer on behalf of children across the country.
 
Data Source: Data in this report are based on responses from National Voices Project Survey 3, fielded in December 28, 2012– January 15, 2013. The National Voices Project is conducted in partnership with GfK, an international survey research organization that maintains KnowledgePanel®, a nationally representative web-enabled panel of adult members of households across the United States. Survey respondents included 2,613 adults from 48 states and D.C. that work or volunteer in ways that affect education, healthcare, economic opportunities, or community and civic engagement for children. 839 respondents work or volunteer with Arab / Arab American children. 1,436 respondents reported that they have ‘some’ or ‘a lot’ of Arabs / Arab Americans in the community they know best (either where they live, work or volunteer).
National Voices Project