The media played a significant role in setting the agenda for the tumultuous 2016 U.S. presidential election, argued David Lublin, professor of government at American University, during a September lecture at AUC’s Prince Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research. Media bias exists, Lublin explained, but is not necessarily pro-Democrat or pro-Republican; rather, the media just prefers focusing on controversy, bad news, as well as polling and the “horse race” between contenders. The presidential candidates know about these preferences, Lublin said, and take advantage of them to manipulate the media.
“You only need to read the newspapers to see the conflation going on between terrorism and Islam,” said Robert Mason, director of AUC’s Middle East Studies Center, during a talk on “Muslim Minority-State Relations” at AUC in September. Mason called for educational initiatives to inform societies with minority Muslim populations about Islam, as well as greater transparency in relations between states and Muslim groups.