While this one found Australians were extremely reliant on media reporting when it comes to forming their views on asylum seekers. Only a quarter of people surveyed thought asylum seekers come to Australia to flee persecution, as opposed to for economic or other reasons.
People – educated or not – tend to be influenced by the media they consume, and when the media obsessively focuses on an issue such as immigration or refugees, political parties who take extreme positions on those issues tend to gain popularity.
So next time you wonder why boat arrivals are such as massive issue in Australia, or next time you feel anger or fear over asylum seekers, take another look at your local newspaper headline. It might not just be reflecting your fear, it could be shaping it.
Thursday, 13 December 2012
Amy Corderoy in Fanning the flames of asylum seeker fear looks at how The Daily Telegraph consistently uses language to evoke fear of refugees within the community.
Phil Plait in Why Climate Change Denial Is Just Hot Air looks at a post by Lawrence Powell Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility - In One Pie Chart. Basically, Powell search peer reviewed scientific literature for all papers on "global warming" and "global climate change" and counted the results. Of 13,650 peer-reviewed climate articles only 24 reject global warming, or argue that global warming is caused by something other than carbon emissions. Here's Powell's pie chart of the results: