Why Aren’t More Arab Americans Working in Mainstream Journalism?

There are anywhere between 3.5 and 5.1 million Americans of Arab descent, according to figures from the Arab American Institute, yet relatively few work in journalism full time. While meaningful estimates aren’t known, as journalism scholars that conduct demographic research in American newsrooms do not typically tally newsmakers of Arab descent, the National Arab American Journalists Association counts around 250... Full Story »

Posted by Caitlin Millar - via Columbia Journalism Review

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Caitlin Millar
by Caitlin Millar - Jan. 31, 2012

This article offered an interesting perspective on the diversity of journalists and who is producing our news. Arabs are underrepresented in news rooms, says Martin. While he doesn't have significant numbers to back up this claim, his own experience interviewing Arab journalists and writing for the Journal of Middle East Media adds to his credibility. Martin provides thought-provoking suggestions as to why Arabs might resist entering the field of Journalism. I can't help but wonder where Americans of Arab descent find news relevant to their own cultures. One of the great aspects of news in the United States is that we can access news for nearly every culture. But if the journalists aren't there, neither is the news. Having diversity in the news room not only serves individual cultures, but the entire population as well. While editors need to focus on hiring a very diverse staff, Martin's claims lead me to believe that it needs to happen earlier than that. Perhaps it is the role of professors and mentors to encourage students (of all backgrounds) to be the change they want to see in the world, or in Martin's words, "to serve the public in journalism."

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