Journalists Rowaida Abdelaziz of HuffPost and Ayman Mohyeldin of MSNBC stressed the importance of newsrooms allowing reporters with diverse backgrounds and identities to be able to cover their own communities, and not disqualifying them based on perceived bias. “I think we need to do better at in terms of whether or not we see the identity of our journalists as an asset or sometimes as a liability, and I think it is not uniformly applied across the various ethnic groups that are oftentimes celebrated and sometimes not,” said Mohyeldin. For him, traveling overseas and being able to speak Arabic and understand cultural subtleties in the Middle East has given him access, understanding, and perspectives that his white colleagues may not share. That perspective is vital to covering a story accurately and fairly. For Abdelaziz, it is important to understand the power dynamics behind objectivity, and the nuances that allow for fair reporting. “Without that, stories get oversimplified and this is how we have stereotypes,” she said. Mohyeldin and Abdelaziz joined PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz on Sept. 8 for a conversation about Muslim journalists working in a post-9/11 world.
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