Google controls what we see and so does our media

There have been countless Islamic terror attacks worldwide so you would expect that if you did a google search for “Muslim terrorists” many news articles about terror attacks would be on the first page.

I put this expectation to the test and here was my result:

I then searched for “Islamic terrorism”

Since Google clearly controls what we see when we search for a topic it made me wonder how balanced the New Zealand media’s coverage was of various topics. I decided to look at  Stuff and the NZ Herald and compare how balanced their coverage of the same topic was.

I searched the NZ Herald first for news stories using the word “Islam” and all the below headlines were in the first-page result. I divided the ten articles into positive/neutral coverage and negative coverage. The balance the NZ Herald has provided on the topic of Islam is 8/2

Positive or neutral articles about Islam:

Anti-Islam workplace bias target of summit

Mar 29, 2015 … “The summit aims to dispel myths, shed light on the Islamic culture and create understanding of the diversity within our Muslim workforce,” said …

Sayeqa Islam

Muhammad isn’t simply Islam’s last prophet. He is considered the exemplar Muslim: the person all Muslims should aspire to live like. After the Koran, it is the  …

Zain Ali: Evils of few shroud Islam’s beauty in fear 

Jun 19, 2017 … Zain Ali is Head of the Islamic Studies Research Unit at the University of Auckland. Ed Sheeran’s new song is playing on the car radio. My kids …

Terror attack prompts NZ Muslims to organise exhibition and …

Mar 27, 2017 … Even in New Zealand, Qamar said there were “increasing misunderstandings”. ” Often people just judge Islam according to what they hear in …

Opinion: If SBW’s faith in Islam is genuine then why is he playing …

Apr 12, 2017 … At face value, SBW’s ‘collar-gate’ is commendable but how deep is his faith in Islam?

Sonny Bill Williams embraces Islam 

Feb 13, 2011 … But Sonny Bill Williams has also made a spiritual conversion to Islam. While rumours of the 25-year-old sporting superstar’s religious beliefs …

Welcome to Angola, the country where Islam has no legal status …

Jun 21, 2016 … Islam has no legal status in the southern African nation of Angola. … Daily Maverick to suggest the reporters were hoping the “ban Islam” myth …

Road to Islam: Prayer, peace, prejudice 

Feb 22, 2015 … “I started from a zero level in religion overall, not just Islam. But in a Muslim country I was exposed to the culture. My colleagues at work were …

Negative articles about Islam:

Anti-Islam sentiment surfaces in Remuera 

Apr 10, 2016 … The words “Islam Hates Us” had been stuck over the original caption, “I don’t like losers”, which had been written in a speech bubble coming …

Nicolas Pirsoul: Warning for NZ in rise of extreme form of Islam – NZ …

Dec 5, 2016 … COMMENT: A number of lessons can be learned from Belgium. This is particularly true for NZ where the problem of Islamic extremism is much …

In contrast to the NZ Herald the result for Stuff is  5/5

Positive or neutral coverage about Islam: 

Lonely Planet’s Iran: The jewel in Islam’s crown 

Sep 6, 2017 … Welcome to what could be the friendliest country on earth. Iran is the jewel in Islam’s crown, combining glorious architecture with a …

Anthony Mundine says Islam has helped show the world the real …

Nov 5, 2015 … One of Sonny Bill Williams’ closest allies on how religion has helped the All Black transform his career.

Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam adds second Auckland show to Peace …

May 17, 2017 … Yusuf Islam, better known to more than one generation of music fans at Cat Stevens, has announced a second Auckland show in December as …

Muslims take to the streets to find out what NZers think about Islam …

Jul 5, 2016 … What do Kiwis think of Islam? Two Muslims took to the streets of Auckland to find out.

Dutch PM’s party easily defeats anti-Islam Party for Freedom 

Mar 16, 2017 … Anti-Islam candidate Geert Wilders concedes defeat in the Dutch elections, but vows not to go away.

Negative coverage about Islam

Kiwis’ lonely journey leaving Islam

Jul 12, 2017 … There is a legitimate fear involved in leaving Islam; turning your back on the faith is referred to as apostasy. It is punishable by death in several …

Australian politician Pauline Hanson says Islam is a disease the …

Mar 24, 2017 … Pauline Hanson has compared Islam to a disease Australians need to vaccinate themselves against, a comment described by the Deputy …

Controversial author Ayaan Hirsi Ali says New Zealand shouldn’t …

Mar 5, 2017 … In interviews and throughout her books, the visitor has said Islam is “the new fascism”; that it’s dangerous and unreformable; that it’s a “nihilistic …

Men plead guilty to New Zealand’s first charges relating to radical …

May 6, 2016 … Names of Auckland men charged over radical Islamic videos of of beheading and violence can now be revealed.

Maori Muslim backs Islamic State 

Nov 2, 2014 … An influential Maori Muslim leader says Kiwis should not be stopped from joining the Islamic State.


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If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

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