The ONLY active voice for American Arab Journalists.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"Minority" statistics in Mainstream American journalism

Here is a link to the recent report of the American Society of Newspaper Editors called "The Newsroom Census" which was last updated March 27, 2007.

Most troubling is the exclusion of all other minorities and ethnic groups of color outside of the "Big Four" -- Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans, the group that constitutes the organization called "UNITY".

So far, Arab American journalists have been excluded not only from the census tabulations but also from the UNITY planning, so far. Contacts have been made and Arab American journalist groups including NAAJA have petitioned to be included. But so far, those requests have been rejected, ignored or not acted upon.

We hope UNITY and other groups recognize the growing presence of other American journalists of color who are outside of the "accepted Big Four."


Monday, March 26, 2007

Media Bias explored in New FrontLine Series

FRONTLINE'S 'News War' Web Site Offers Extended Interviews with Top Media Players and Exclusive Web Features on the State of Today's Media

BOSTON, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- With more than 50 extended interviews
with key figures in print, broadcast, and electronic media, the companion
Web site to FRONTLINE's News War series offers educators, students, media
professionals, and the general public an in-depth look at the controversies
engulfing today's news media. The four-part investigation is airing
nationally on PBS and via streaming video on the Web site.

FRONTLINE's News War Web site offers unequalled access to some of
today's most important news organizations as it enhances the investigation
with additional analysis by a wide-range of journalists, editors, and
industry executives who debate the role of the media in U.S. society and
forecast the future for the news business. From embattled news rooms, read
analysis by Bill Keller, Executive Editor of The News York Times and Dean
Baquet, formerly of The Los Angeles Times; to reporters who are making
history and making headlines such as Judith Miller formerly at The News
York Times and Dana Priest, The Washington Post; with the perspective of
veterans in the news industry such as Ted Koppel, formerly ABC News, Dan
Rather formerly CBS News, and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post; and the
insights of new media gurus like prominent blogger Jeff Jarvis, Buzz
Machine and Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.

The extended interviews focus on a wide range of issues currently
affecting the news media, including the Valerie Plame investigation, the
current battle between the White House and the press, how the Internet and
new media are shaping the future of news, media bias, reporter's privilege,
and reporting on national security issues.

The News War Web site contains a 55-minute, streaming audio
presentation on "The Future of the News" which is a panel discussion taped
at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, as well as a teacher's guide
that challenges students to think about the First Amendment and its
importance to what's happening in the news industry today.

FRONTLINE's News War Web site at
provides a directory of extended resources and allows visitors to watch the
entire series in high-quality streaming video on-line. Other offerings
include Web-only features such as: the growing ethnic media industry, the
Internet news revolution, continued in-depth coverage of changes at The Los
Angeles Times, and facts and figures about the business of the news.

FRONTLINE and FRONTLINE/World are produced by WGBH Boston and are
broadcast nationwide on PBS. Major funding for News War is provided by the
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation. Additional support is provided by The
Nathan Cummings Foundation. Event sponsorship provided by John S. and James
L. Knight Foundation. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support
of PBS viewers and by the Park Foundation. The executive producer for

FRONTLINE is David Fanning.
Access interviews, resources, or watch FRONTLINE in high-quality video

Sandy St. Louis, (617) 300-5379


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Open Letter to the American Society of Newspaper Editors

March 24, 2007

Dear Members of the ASNE:

Arab American journalists remain under siege, not just from extremists in their own community but also from mainstream media that refuse or fail to distinguish between professional Arab American journalists and activists and extremists who continue to dominate our community.
Arab American journalists are American, professional journalists, and focused on getting the story. Yet, we continually face discrimination, including from our own profession of American journalism.

The challenge is complex. But Arab American journalists are constantly attacked from their own community by extremists who have exploited the situation to convince most Arab Americans that they represent the mainstream community, when they do not. But they succeed because Arab Americans believe they have no voice. We have no voice in American society. Mainstream American newspapers continue to exclude us, unable to distinguish between extremists and moderates. We look all the same to mainstream Americans through the eyes of mainstream American journalists.

This creates a situation where moderate Arabs -- the majority of Arab Americans -- are pushed into silence. This allows the extremists to work the community, moving center-stage in our society and appearing to others as if they represent us.

Although we have been in America since the mid-19th Century, we continue to face discrimination. Worse, the groups that should be helping us to break through the discrimination do not help at all.

In 1999, we formed the National Arab American Journalism Association to do several things: organize as professional journalists, not as political activists; to serve as a conduit to other journalism groups; and, to serve as a focal point for accurate information on the Arab American community.

We are journalists. We have won numerous journalism awards. I was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" in November by the New America Media. Yet, when Creators Syndicate signed me on as a columnist in 2003, they released me saying that few mainstream American newspapers wanted a column from an Arab American journalist.

We can't allow this to continue. The inability of moderates to rise and to promote professional journalism only serves the extremists. This situation indirectly contributes to growing terrorism because some terrorism is the result of individuals who are consumed by frustration, rejection, voicelessness and a sense of despondency that they are alone and have no options to choose from. Give my community options. Help us strengthen our voices.

As you meet this week in Washington D.C., please recognize that Arab Americans are Americans. And, more importantly, Arab American journalists are an essential part of getting the story correctly and completely. You need us to help convey the full story. Without us, the story becomes politicized.

We need your support. Please help us as professional journalists.

Thank you for your time

Ray Hanania
National Coordinator