Friday, February 22, 2019
Globalization of the Media: A Bicultural WomanÃ¢â¬â¢s View Essay
Does globalization mean(a) were being conditioned into thinking nevertheless of CNN or Al Jazeera when disaster touchs and we motive detailed news of an event? Yes, in truth likely, beca work some(prenominal) media in the Arab world f every(prenominal) short of the task of providing cheeseparing, accurate, news thats to the point.Can we face globalization? Should we be part of it? What withalls freighter we fix to our advantage? What role tummy women play in globalization of the media? Do they face obstacles?Doesnt it hurt us when inappropriate diarists report handle information approximately us? Shouldnt we help them by devising it painless to drive the right information and not fall into the alike trap of doing to them what they do to us?1. NEED FOR UNDERSTANDING & BALANCED breeding ON BOTH SIDESWe take to a greater extent media that passel actualise our heathen backgrounds and societal postulate on both sides of the cultural divide i.e. those that strike a balance mingled with accurate information and understanding of the studys background.All too often reporters be parachuted into a area to covert a hot story without having solid grounding in the subject. This applies to Arabs as s rise as Americans and Europeans. Ive overhearn it happen in many a(prenominal) countries and we direct to rectify that.U.S. and European correspondents often arrive on Arab shores with no notion of whats happening in the country or the region, tiny or no knowl brim of Arabic (or French) and counting everyone to understand them in incline, for example. well-nigh dont do their homework and dont train close the background that led to recent conflicts, as if they exist in a vacuum. Its a major failure on their part.An American reporter I know was too scared to enter rottenstone (Lebanon) during one of the major firefights of the Lebanese civil war, took a taxi to the edge of the urban center, saw some ex exchanges from a distance, ran back to B eirut, filed the story with a rottenstone dateline and proceeded to detail the raging battle which he never actually saw. in that location are many lots(prenominal) stories from all over the world.Thats a great disservice to the readers, viewers, listeners and browsers.2. THE GENDER PROBLEMOn the sex activity front, an Arab charr journalist may be lucky to cover the alike news as a man, barely she cant expect the same pay. Why?Theres a ceiling women cant penetrate in media and government, alleges May Kahale, a warhorse journalist and media adviser to originator Lebanese president Elias Hrawi.Mona Ziade, news editor at The mundane Star in Lebanon, notes that womens coverage of politics and an separate(prenominal)(a) serious issues is fairly recent and continues to raise male suspicions.Which is why women maintain got to strive harder to prove themselves and abide by very professional standards to be presumen seriously, and be respected.According to Dr. Mohammad Ibrahi m Ayesh of Sharjah University, the chances of Arab women in the media are still special compared to men and the lack of opportunities for professional get onth is a major hypnogogic they face in media organizations.He attrisolelyed this to traditional stereotyping of women in the media as consumers only concerned with beauty and fashion and lacking the ability to think and energise decisions.Another obstacle is that media work requires flexible hours and mobility, which often conflicts with the responsibilities of married women, who see children and homes, he added.Why dont we have stories of women who have succeeded in this sketch highlighted in our own media? Why dont we tally them useable to foreign media in their own languages? It doesnt take genius, barely a bit of effort.I spent many historic period showing the Pentagon (in addition to the blank House, State Department and Congress) and enjoyed writing on defence reaction and security issues, focusing on weapons, r apid deployment forces, low intensity warfare, terrorism and nuclear proliferation.Mastery of languages is very important. Its helped me in many situations. narration Farsi (with my command of Arabic) helped me cover stories in Tehran knowing Greek enabled me to line the Cyrillic alphabet while on assignment in capital of the Russian Federation and while living in Cyprus and being fluent in French has served me in many locations, like North Africa and elsewhere. Thinking and speaking in positions many variations is my strength.If women are to prove themselves in the field and many have excelled over the years they should do their homework, and more. They should keep energy that executive glass ceiling by being experts in areas not considered womens issues.3. HOW ARAB MEDIA SHOULD COUNTERATTACKOn November 26, the Arab League opened a two-day conclave to discuss how to deal with the worlds eagerness to equate Islam with terrorism and started a fund with an initial $1 million d onation to pay research and publications to advocate dialogue among civilizations.Thats great, but we need to cover the availability of satellite broadcasts ( most(prenominal)ly in English), computable use of the Internet, and an army of express communicators who can convey the ideas of peace, general humanity and fairness to all in non-rhetorical language, short sound bites and cyber kilobits.Arab media need to counter-attack, but I would argue that to do so, they must act decisively, promptly and credibly.The Detroit Free Press, published in the city with the United States most concentrated Arab-American population, is trying to better understand and let off issues concerning Arab-Americans and Muslims.It has a list clavered 100 Questions & Answers About Arab-Americans A Journalists Guide to help with more accurate journalistic portrayals of Arab-Americans, their backgrounds, culture, religions.The Florida-based Poynter Institute, which specializes in media matters, ran an online word called Understanding Ramadan with relate to versatile sites journalists could use as re seeded players.Equally good were two features in the Seattle Times Online called Understanding Turbans and Interpreting Veils with illustrations and descriptions of he leades worn by men and covers for women. We should have such information handy to provide our media contacts. dissertation on Arab-American perspectives on the anti-terrorism war, the president of the Arab-American Institute in Washington, James Zogby, delivered the secretaire of States Open Forum address in December, noting that his company can play a bridging role in the Middle East.We understand the reality of the region, he said. We also want to have input in the discussions about how we approach the Middle East.So what do readers in America, for example, in reality want? Pam Johnson create verballys on the Poynter Institute site that international news needs relevance.For many Americans, what happens in the Middle East, westsideern Europe, Great Britain, Afghanistan, the Indian sub-continent, and the stay of North America now is a subject of great interest, she said. Similarly, events in the United States that are related to the U.S.-led War on act of terrorism take on greater importance.The Columbia Journalism Review of November/December 1997 ran a story entitled Reporting Foreign intelligence Who Gives a diddly-squat?Author James F. Hoge, Jr. wrote that except for the collapse of the Soviet kernel in 1989-90, the coverage of international news in American media had steadily declined since the late seventies, when the cold war lost its sense of imminent danger. The background A world less threatening to America is less newsy, he reported. Or as one TV executive said, sunshine is a weather report, a raging storm is news.Journalists have also disregard historians, wrote Charles Bowen in Editor & Publisher. He pointed to a new history-rich website called History News Network (w ww.historynews net income.org) as a potentially all-powerful resource, providing linked headlines to its latest analyses.Shouldnt the Arab World have something similar to serve its purposes?George Krimsky, a veteran foreign correspondent and editor with the Associated Press, who now has a consulting firm, co-authored a very useful book called Bringing the World Home Showing Readers Their world(prenominal) Connections. Its an invaluable resource for Americans who dont see a link between their own back yards and the universe at large.Arabs can help by finding links between what interests Americans and their own region. It but requires homework, research, and perseverance.Several organizations award journalists for the work they do and risks they take to inform us about whats happening in the world, or even in our own neighborhoods. We should support these awards and create worthy prizes.I was heartened to learn that the conference of Arab news agencies federation which met in Doha in December recommended the introduction of the federations own internet site in English and Arabic and another site to counter the negative image pictured in the perceived shake up against Arabs and Muslims.I would still like to see more references made to womens participation in that effort and abide by of how the image of women in the Arab world can be presented in a positive light, not via stereotypes.Empowering Arab & Muslim women is the key to eradicating terrorism at its source was the headline of an article by Lebanese journalist Saad Mehio in The Daily Star Dec. 12, 2001.4. RECOMMENDATIONSWith all that in mind, here are my recommendations for positive changeWomen journalists should have facts ready at their fingertips, ask intelligent questions, be opinionated without being obnoxious, show inconsistencies in whats being said and done, schedule everything, and be thorough.Arab women journalists need to learn American English fast and line in to the nuances of official Washington before presuming to know how to cover the White House, State Department, Pentagon, Capitol Hill, etc. They also need to understand the intricacies of international finance and lending institutions if theyre to cover the World Bank and IMF.They should be well versed in the language of international relations, treaties, history, geography, etc., before tackling the U.N. and its agencies. Theres a lot of legwork involved.Have female economists available to speak on western business shows about their economic concerns and the common ground that exists between commonwealth from the Arab world and other parts of the world. It would strike a responsive chord.Have female engineers or physicists or doctors or lawyers available to search on TV shows, radio programs, in print, etc., to explain how things work in Arab or Muslim countries. They would probably find more in common with their sisters in the west than differences.Above all, have articulate journalists and media expert s available to conclude questions about the media and other issues of concern across the cultural divide.Hollywood has enlisted former heavyweight boxing champ Mohammad Ali to help Americas campaign abroad to show that the war its launched isnt against Islam or the Arabs, but against terrorism.Why cant the Arabs enlist Omar Sharif and women stars who speak English well to do the same and address the western world to talk about the riches of the Arab world and Islam, and even Christianity in Arab countries? 1 thing weve failed to do well is addressing the hinterlands in America and Western Europe. Its never too late to do that but definitely requires time, money and effort.How about mobilizing our women politicians to go out to De Moines, Iowa Chicago, Illinois Dallas, Texas Athens, Ohio Columbia, Missouri? Set them up to talk to womens clubs, shorten on womens talk shows and programs, even religious programs and talk about how their beliefs are similar to those of the women in the small towns and cities.We need to have a handbook of Arab-American legislators, Arabs whove made it in business and science, the media, etc. Have biographies of them and summaries on how the political system in the US works at the city, commonwealth and federal levels. Some of these things are already available finished Arab-American organizations, but need to be made available to us in simplify form.Its not beneficial a matter of acquire our authority into the media and politics. Its more a matter of working our way through the system, by first understanding it. We cant claim expertise in the field. Theres still much to learn.We should have media directories and handbooks of Arab experts available for correspondents who visit us or live in our countries. Make them clear, summary and user friendly. Update them regularly, make certain(p) theyre properly edit and printed on good paper and are attractive online. Its the enlarge that count and lend to ones credibility.No matte r how powerful or rich a mass medium, it cannot succeed if it does not assert accurate and unbiased information. We may present glossy pictures but if the text is bad, the whole story goes out the window.How do we contact the media? How do we write a letter to the editor or an op-ed column?Here are a few suggestions from the Arab American Institute in Washington, which also provides links to media sources. We can follow the guidelines and create our own local/regional dis posturement1. Be timely. Respond while the issue is still fresh in the minds of journalists and their audiences. Send your letter no later than a week aft(prenominal) the article appears in print or is broadcast.2. Be direct. The opening split should contain your main point. You want the reader to be able to quickly identify your message.3. Be concise. Your letters length will consider its chances of being published. Most publications will not print more than third short paragraphs.4. Use words that convey a firm and steadfast stance. If youre writing a letter critical of news coverage, use adjectives such as distorted, inaccurate, out-of-context, one-sided, skewed. If you are complementing an article or editorial, make sure you note its fairness, balance and/or thoroughness.5. Stay cool. Hostile or as well emotional language in your letter will hurt your chances sort of than help them. Stating your case in a convincing fashion is the most important criterion for acquire published.6. Spread the word. Dont just send your letter to the editor. You can maximize its impact if you send a copy to other people responsible for the article, such as the reporter, foreign editor or syndicated columnist, as well as those mentioned in the article, such as a congress member or public official.7. demand credit. Before publishing a letter, most papers will call to verify that you wrote it. Make sure you include your full name, title, address and solar day phone number in the letter.8. Follow up. Inquire about the berth of your letter with a phone call or letter. If you submit a letter in the future, the editor may remember you and give you more immediate consideration.In December, CNN and MTV two cable networks launched in the 1980s with assorted ownerships and audiences teamed up to offer viewers of both networks a series of reports on young people in Afghanistan. What an interesting experimentWhy cant we have something similar with young women from a youth-oriented Arab station reportage on the plight of Palestinian women under siege, young people in Iraq, students in Sudan, or women farmers in southern Lebanon?In fact, I would put up creating an online news service for children, run by children lets say ages 8-18 under the guidance of adults. Its young reporters can turn over out to others well-nigh the world and share their concerns and fears about the planet they all share.Another place Ive loved to visit in the past few years has been something called the News eum (or news museum) outside Washington. Its a magnet for anyone interested in news.We could easily have something like that in Lebanon, for example, dedicated to the news business, with exhibits in at least three languages and user-friendly, computer-generated, interactive displays.We must learn to network more effectively and develop media literacy programs for children and adults. A specialized media group defines media literacy as a four-step inquiry process of AwarenessAnalysisReflectionAction.Theres a lot that can be done online to reach a far greater audience than traditional media. One woman in New York called Amira Quraishi with a group of friends launched a non-profit organization called Muslims Against Terrorism and started a website.According to Wired News Online, they began with a spare website that bring in hate crimes and cited key passages from the Koran that call for peace, justice and tolerance. Within three weeks, the site had slick Flash graphics, a press kit, links to other good resources, links to the groups listserv and contact information for members.One of our shortcomings has been that were always reactive, not proactive. We need to change that. We should provide speakers, information, access, courtesy, and much more, in real time.We should learn to make friends with reporters and editors not with the idea of buying them, but with being good sources of reliable information to them. Its an easy task that should be taken seriously. We should learn to respect time and deadlines. We need to have long-term vision.Our editorials should be rational discourses, not irrational outbursts.If were going to set up more satellite stations to address western public opinion, let them not be carbon copies of what we already have. We need original content to face todays challenges.We need in-depth coverage of issues that concern our people and that have common threads with others worldwide. lets be creative about it.Were catching up in the use of te chnology, but shouldnt bar access to its various manifestations. Blocking websites wont do it. Itll only make people want to try harder to reach the unreachable.We have too many armchair analysts. In Beirut, dozens of famous writers sit in cafs and expound on matters about Lebanon and the world. They dont travel extensively, they dont undulate with all manner of people, and they dont even read English well enough to decipher American or British media. And save they get paid for that. Its a disgrace. They should be dethroned.Analysis and good writing arent done by remote control. They require involvement, getting down to the grassroots, digging for facts, and constantly communicating with people from all walks of life.We in the Arab world should also learn to handle bad news. In the West they create crisis centers to handle the flow of information in an emergency. We tend to cover up things. Why? Wed be more credible if we share what we knew in a sober and rational way to help all those concerned, including ourselves.People will continue to stereotype Arabs and Muslims so long as Arabs and Muslims dont present their case in an effective way, away from stuffy official statements that most people dont intend anyway. We need substance.Its our job to change the negative image we have abroad. We have to bridge the cultural and media divide. Provocation wont get us anywhere. Communication will.To improve our image we need to clean up our own act, reform our methods, abide by media ethics, follow guidelines of good journalistic practice, promote transparency in our work, capitalize on our human assets, promote more women in the media to fill higher positions and provide balanced leadership.We need to coordinate better and should learn to share information among each other in a cooperative spirit.Keep it simple and dont assume anything are two basic rules I used to thatched roof my journalism students. Theyre universal.Finally, always keep children in mind when cr eating a message. Theyre the most impressionable and valuable audience we have and theyll grow up to become tomorrows leaders.