How is Religion portrayed in the Media?

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Media - the means of conveying information to the public, especially television, newspapers and the Internet.
The media portray certain religions in particular ways according to the information provided, if there are major topics against certain religions then stereotypes and discrimination is pushed against the religion. An example of this would be 11st September 2001, which lead to hysteria that all Islamic people are terrorists, because the act committed was done for 'god'.

The positive aspect to the media and religion is the major events which can dominant the media and support the religious views and gatherings of the community. For example, when the Pope came to visit, there were people who gathered ( not necessarily Christians) in Central Park and many more who watched him on TV. The media can bring people of the community together who share the same views.
Overall the media can be negative and positive, it depends on whether the issue is strong or weak and will interest the people. Usually the media is seen as being negative towards religions as they support the most contraversial news; however it depends on whether the matter is big enough to make the headline.

Religions can reach many people who may not otherwise be reached via the media. This can be very important in helping people understand a faith and its traditions and beliefs.
The media can sometimes be used to encourage stereotyping and discrimination n against certain religious groups. E.g. the Islamic faith is now believed to be terrorists, due to the 11th September 2001 event.
In the modern world, it is important to have a better understanding of those around you -- it helps generate harmony and peace.
Usually the media broadcast the most controversial stories as they know they will most likely get a response the most outrageous the headline is. Therefore this can cause a disagreement between religions.
Prejudice often comes from ignorance, so the media can be used to combat this. Go onto the Internet, and type in a search for a named religious tradition. You'll find official websites, which can give you actual view of that tradition.
The media can also be a source for blasphemy, for example The Last Temptation Of Christ, was boycotted and picketed by Christian groups when it first appeared in British cinemas.
Christianity and Islam are both missionary religions. There is a religious duty to spread their understanding of God and his laws, and to bring more people into the religion. The media is a good way to spread their message further, faster.
It can be seen as a source of corruption, as there are many anti-religious sites. This could be a source for persuasion and may affect the most easily peer pressure -- young teenagers/ young adults.
For many people who aren't able to attend their own place of worship as often as they would like to, the religious broadcasts bring it to them.
It can raise issues of hypocrisy within religious texts and cause arguments and sometimes in extreme cases violence.
The media can be used to bring communities together and families together especially during special religious days.

The media can be used to inform religious believers the special ceremonies taking place in areas close to them, allowing the religious community to come together and support the cause or celebrate the event.
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