Wajahat Ali, a Muslim-American reporter visited Ohio University on Thursday, November 17 to deliver the keynote speech during International Education Week. He discussed topics ranging from Islamophobia, the Muslim narrative in the media, stereotyping and xenophobia to the election during his time here.
- Provide context. Take care not to misrepresent or oversimplify.
- Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism.
- Be vigilant and courageous about holding those in power responsible
- Boldly tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience.
- Expose unethical conduct in journalism.
This is somewhere I am seeing improvement in our job as watchdogs. A prime example I can identify was the condemnation of President-elect Donald Trump's comments regarding Khizr and Ghazala Khan's appearance at the DNC earlier in the election cycle.
The now infamous speech given by Mr. Khan drew criticism from Trump, with his response centered around whether or not Mrs. Khan was allowed to speak at the convention (video below). This was met with backlash from the media condemning Trump's comments. This was met with a rebuttal from Mrs. Khan, where she set the record straight on why she did not speak at the convention.
The comments made by Trump in this situation are prime examples of Islamophobia in our nation and show the preconceived notions much of America has toward the religion. As members of the ethical, responsible media, we need to continue to call out Islamophobia when we see it (especially when it comes from those in great positions of power).
Let Muslims Speak for themselves
Beautiful things happen when we pass the mic to those who rarely get to grasp it. A great example of journalism giving voice to the voiceless is this Buzzfeed article, which reported on a young Indian-American Muslim woman from Colorado who corrected the false belief that Muslims don't condemn acts of violence.
Heraa Hashmi was asked by a classmate why Muslims don’t condemn things, so she made a 712 page Google spreadsheet showing examples of Muslims condemning violence. Other people took it upon themselves to turn this spreadsheet into a website where you can search and sort by all sorts of categories.