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Some British media reporting contributing to Hinduphobia, finds survey

Some British media reporting contributing to Hinduphobia, finds survey

Some of the reporting in mainstream British media is contributing to Hinduphobia, a new survey of British Indians has found.

‘British Media and Perception: How does the British Media portray Hindus and Indians?’ is a report released by diaspora advocacy group Insight UK to share results of a study it conducted last year to gain insights into the sentiments of the British Hindu and British Indian communities regarding their portrayal by the news media in the UK. The group said that examining how the media portrays a particular community is essential to promote fairness, accuracy, and inclusivity. By challenging biases, stereotypes, and misinformation, such an examination can contribute to a more informed and empathetic society, which respects the diversity and dignity of all communities.

Some of the key findings of the report include:

  • 81% felt media reports on India results in negative perceptions of Indians

  • 79% felt media reports on Hinduism results in negative perceptions of Hindus

  • 59% felt that media reporting led to them being a victim, or witness, of prejudice against Hindus

When asked for details of the kind of prejudice experienced, text responses from respondents indicated that “reporting is contributing to Hinduphobia and focus on cows, curry and caste”.

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Insight UK said its survey was conducted from November 2022 to February 2023 involving Hindus and Indians living in the UK about what they thought of the British media. The 2021 census recorded 1.03 million Hindus and 1.86 million Indians in England and Wales alone and the study garnered responses from 2,061 people from this group – with “strong representation” across all regions of the United Kingdom.

“Questions were asked with the intention of gauging respondent sentiment on topics related to Hindus and India in the British media. All major media outlets were presented consistently throughout the survey in multichoice options to ensure there were no assumptions or inherent bias in the questions about any particular outlet,” Insight UK said.

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Based on its the results, the organisation has formulated some key conclusions directed at the British Indian community, British media and policymakers, including seeking out more varied sources of information, greater engagement and awareness drives.

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