Executive Director to Participate in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) National Journalism Conference

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What: Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) National Journalism Conference

When: Friday, August 25, 2006 @ 3:30-4:30pm

Description: Where are the moderate Arabs and Muslims? Journalists covering these populations face a myriad of different voices from many cultures and must decide which ones actually represent the community. Widespread coverage of violence by a few distorts the picture of a majority. Fear of being misrepresented by the press keeps moderates from being heard while lack of cultural understanding confuses reporters. The fast growing Muslim population, from African Americans to immigrant Arabs to converts, creates a need for journalists to know more about Islam, Arabs and Middle Eastern cultures and how they fit into the fabric of America. Expert panelists will address common misconceptions, answer questions and link journalists to helpful resources that ensure accurate and fair coverage of Muslim/Arab communities across America.

Panelists: Firas Ahmad, senior editor Islamica Magazine; Ray Hanania, National Arab American Journalists Association (NAAJA); Hesham Hassaballah, Pulmonary and Critical Care physician and Beliefnet columnist; Edina Lekovic, Communications Director for Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Chicago.

Moderator: Doris Norrito, news correspondent Tampa Bay Newspapers Weekly

Where: Toronto Room, Gold Level, West Tower

Title: Improving coverage of Arab and Muslim communities

Contact program coordinators: Dnorrito@ij.net or firas@islamicamagazine.com

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