About the Media and Reporting Project
The Media Project is a dynamic, collaborative community of scholars, activists, media practitioners and journalists who utilize an array of platforms to advocate for a substantial improvement in the quality of research, pedagogy, and advocacy on media and communication in/on the Middle East and North Africa. Our founding workshop took place in June 2015 at the Arab Studies Institute in Virginia titled “Journalism Against the Grain” tackled the problematic aspects of reporting from and in the region in light of extremely challenging contemporary conditions. The second forthcoming event is a conference at the American University of Beirut (AUB) which will tackle “Digital Activism and Civil Society” in the region since the uprisings. The Media Project will convene workshops, conferences, research projects, resource building efforts, and other activities in the coming months and years with the objective of expanding the lens through which we analyze the Middle East, North Africa, and other geographic areas that are impacting and/or being impacted by the politics, economics, and sociocultural conditions of the region.
The state of media coverage and journalism on the larger Middle East and the conflicts it is currently embroiled in at a significant juncture both professionally and conceptually. More than any other period in contemporary regional history, the presence of international correspondents, proliferation of regional broadcast news, and the advent of citizen and alternative journalism, are all helping augment both the craft and audiences in compelling and significant ways. We want to take stock of these changes and understand them best to address the regions greatest media needs—justice-oriented knowledge production and accurate contextual reporting.
The Arab Studies Institute’s research arm, FAMA (Forum on Arab and Muslim Affairs), initiated The Media Project, which aims to bring together the most enterprising journalists and media practitioners whose reporting from the region exemplifies exceptional nuance with media scholars, academics, and activists to build a critical mass with the intention of examining, exposing, and affecting reporting on and in the region.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The Media Project aims to:
1) provide pedagogical tools that render exemplary reporting from the region an indispensable component of instruction on the Middle East and North Africa;
2) produce a comprehensive report about the state of reporting on the greater Middle East; and
3) build a long-term network of journalists, media critics, commentators, scholars, editorialists, etc., with the purpose of attempting to reflect on and shift the priorities of coverage towards more succinct, elaborate, insightful, and nuanced discussions of the region.
The Media Project's priorities include:
1) Knowledge production in the form of publications and media content that address concerns in the realm of communication and mediation of the Middle East region;
2) Production and promotion of pedagogical content on media;
3) Building a sustained network of interdisciplinary interlocutors to support collective efforts in improving media quality; and
4) The commemoration of stellar works in journalistic reporting, media production, and media criticism and analysis that illuminate often undermined and undervalued issues.
MEDIA PROJECT ADMIN TEAM
Kelly Golnoush Niknejad
Sharif Abdel Kouddous
Safa Al Ahmad
Maria Abou Zeid
Laila Shereen Sakr