How to cover Muslim America

Suggested Speakers

  • Nuran Alteir | @whatnuransaid
    Freelance journalist/Asian American Journalists Association (member of AAJA's Muslim American Task Force)
  • Mizanur Rahman | @Mizanur_TX
    Houston Chronicle (Deputy metro editor)/Asian American Journalists Association (member of AAJA's Muslim American Task Force)
How can we improve coverage of Muslim America? Come learn about the pitfalls, resources and untold stories for fuller, fairer coverage.

Session Description

Too often, coverage of Muslims in America is done through crisis mode: drastic changes in immigration policy or in the context of suspected and attempted terrorist activity in the country. But there are so many other stories to be covered. Feature stories don’t always have to be about the one woman wearing a hijab. There’s a variety socioeconomic issues within the community that rarely gets covered. And what about black Muslims? What is being done now, and what needs to be done in the future, to ensure fair and accurate coverage of Muslim America? The Asian American Journalists Association started a Muslim American Task Force earlier this year to answer these questions, and to partner with other journalism groups doing the same. We launched a new database of diverse Muslim sources who can credibly and authoritatively speak on issues affecting the community; updated AAJA’s Guide to Covering Muslim America (with a pronunciation guide for broadcast and radio journalists); and are compiling a database of other journalist and professional groups working on similar efforts so we can pool resources. This panel will discuss what’s lacking/not working in current coverage, provide resources and tips on how we can improve coverage of Muslim communities and make our stories richer, fuller, fairer and more accurate.

How does your submission contribute to the diversity of the conference?

This panel is literally ALL about diversity. Coverage of Muslim America is a timely and necessary topic to discuss; Muslim Americans represent a small but diverse community, especially socioeconomically. Journalists attending this session will learn ways to diversify their sources so that the same experts aren’t being quoted all the time. They’re learn about the many untold stories so they can diversify their coverage. And they’ll learn to tell the community’s stories with nuance and care. The panelists are also diverse. We represent early career and mid career journalists, with print, digital and freelance backgrounds. Michelle founded AAJA’s Muslim American Task Force and is Korean American, and both Nuran and Mizanur are Muslim. Michelle and Nuran are female, Mizanur is male. Together, the panelists provide insiders’ and an outsider’s perspectives on coverage of Muslim America. We are on both the newsgathering side (Michelle and Nuran) and the news editing side (Mizanur) and able to assess coverage from both angles. We have all been working on different projects through AAJA’s Muslim American Task Force, so we can speak to the variety of discussions we’ve had within and outside of our task force. And we’re all new to ONA.

What will your audience have gained by the time your session is over?