According to Religion News Service, Muslims in journalism account for just a “sliver of the mainstream America media.” With the rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric and Islam-related stories, those few Muslims working in journalism today say the need for more representation is pivotal.
Former Washington Post journalist Richard Prince agrees and says, “When we want to cover communities accurately it helps to have people from those communities in our newsrooms, and in leadership positions as well.” He draws an analogy between Muslims in journalism today and African-American journalists during the civil rights movement. “The news media found it could not get into the black community without them,” he comments.
At the Chicago Sun-Times, Metro Editor Rummana Hussain is a great source within the local Muslim community who feel comfortable going to her with stories, believing they will get fairer coverage and representation. She’s also handy whenever a colleague has a question about Islam (such as, “Do Muslims eat beef?”).
While there are no statistics on how many Muslims are working in the media today, former CNN producer Maria Ebrahimji makes the point, “What has been heartwarming and reassuring is to see the number of young Muslims becoming increasingly interested in journalism as a career, and engaging with the media even though It might not necessarily be their career.”