While sports fans were focused on the NCAA college basketball rivalries, new research revealed a more somber ranking of eight media sources that link violent extremism to a single religion.

The study by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) found the number one source of quotes linking Islam to violence isn’t experts, but other journalists or media outlets.

Beth Hallowell, AFSC communications research director, called that a dangerous equation. 

“Part of the reason this was so disturbing to us was that we saw articles that even covered Islam when religion was not at stake,” said Hallowell.

The study found that Islam is mentioned in media coverage of violent extremism more than 90 percent of the time. According to Hallowell, there is a similar bias in media coverage of the responses to conflict.

“There was a five-to-one ratio in coverage of violent responses to conflict, versus nonviolent responses,” she explained. “So, there was a real imbalance in how conflict responses were covered.”

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