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Monday, June 05, 2006

Arab American Journalists to conduct informational workshops at SPJ Convention

The Chicago Chapter of the National Arab American Journalists Association will host a day-long informational workshop to coincide with the Convention fo the Society of Professional Journalists Aug. 24 - 27 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The purpose is to protest the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias that exists in the mainstream American news media, mainly on the Op-Ed pages of America's newspapers, a bias that exists because of the apparent exclusion of Arab and Muslim authors of commentaries addressing major Middle East and other related issues.

Chapter members will announce a series of events to coincide with the SPJ Convention.

"This is not a protest of the SPJ, but we are going to use the convention to help force the mainstream American media address serious grievances that Arab and Muslim American journalists have. And, we intend to force mainstream journalists to practice what they preach when it comes to objectivity and diversity in newsrooms. Right now, studies have shown, that the Arab and Muslim voice is absent from the debates and discussions taking place on the Op-Ed pages of most American newspapers, causing the debates and discussions to be one-sided. The mainstream news media has a responsibility to be fair in presenting all sides of the Middle East conflict, and issues involving the War on Terrorism, the war in Iraq and other related issues," said Ray Hanania, a veteran Chicago political reporter and a co-founder of NAAJA.

"The fact is objectivity and balance and fairness are AWOL in the mainstream media, especially in American newspapers."


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