Monday, April 21, 2008

Arab American journalists criticize mainstream American media for selective coverage

Arab American journalists criticize mainstream American media for selective coverage

Group launches new Resource Web Site helps media reporting

April 21, 2008
Ray Hanania,

Chicago – The National Arab American Journalists Association (NAAJA) has launched "Arab American Resource Web Page" to help mainstream journalists improve coverage of Arab American related issues.

Saying mainstream American news media have failed to adequately cover the Arab American community – contributing to American public confusion on important issues such as Arabs, Islam and terrorism –NAAJA identified the top five (5) topics Arab American journalists believe need more detailed attention.

"The mainstream American news media is selective about what it covers in the Arab American community, feeding confusion about facts and events that directly impact this country," said NAAJA coordinator and syndicated columnist Ray Hanania.

Hanania said topics will change periodically as the media improves its coverage.

The NAAJA web site is There is a link to the Resource Page on the upper left-hand corner of the web site.

Among the top issues, according to the web site, are:

1 - Celebrations on Israel’s 60th Anniversary miss or exclude Palestinian commemorations.

2 - Bigotry, racism and discrimination against Arab Americans. Every day, Arab Americans face discrimination but very few instances receive detailed media coverage.

3 – Inadequate coverage on Middle East Christians, especially since this week is celebrated by Orthodox Christians throughout the world and the Middle East as Easter.

4 – TBA (Still being decided)

5 - TBA (Still being decided)

"We are not asking the mainstream media to be pro-Arab. We are demanding that they be objective and fair in coverage of issues where we, as professional journalists, are more knowledgeable," Hanania said.

"We are asking mainstream newspapers, radio and TV news operations to be more professional by covering topics more comprehensively. We believe the media must give Arab Americans a voice and in doing so, help make American journalism more professional."

NAAJA is a partner of the Society of Professional Journalists and abides by the SPJ’s Code of Conduct. There are more than 250 Arab Americans working in mainstream journalism jobs or for the Arab ethnic media. There are 82 Arab American newspapers and magazines, 12 Arab American radio programs, and a dozen Arab American cable TV shows.