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media mentions

Nieman Lab  (December 2023)

Newsrooms will refuse to reckon with their hypocrisy — again

Janelle Salanga

The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association, in its recommendations for covering Israel’s bombing campaign on Palestine, urges newsrooms to interview Palestinians, noting “your story is always incomplete without them” and to be receptive to feedback from “staffers of Arab and Middle Eastern descent, especially those who may be personally impacted by the situation.”

Al Jazeera (November 1, 2023) 

Watching the watchdogs: Fear in newsrooms silences pro-Palestine voices

Rami G. Khoury 

The young but dynamic Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association said it was, “deeply troubled by reports that journalists of Middle Eastern and North African descent face bias at work and are being sidelined from reporting or commenting on the current war…(while) suggestions for nuance, balance, and using accurate and precise language in reporting are being ignored in newsrooms”.

The Washington Post (April 28, 2022) 

How media coverage whitewashes Israeli state violence against Palestinians

This month, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association reminded reporters to be mindful of language and context and reshared reporting guidance issued during Israel’s deadly onslaught against Gaza last year, which killed 259 Palestinians, including 66 children.

Columbia Journalism Review (March 15, 2022) 

The biases in coverage of the war in Ukraine

Jon Allsop

In a statement, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association noted that such framing wrongly casts war outside of Europe and North America “as somehow normal and expected,” thus dehumanizing those who suffer under it. 

USA Today (March 11, 2022) 

Stop using LGBTQ people to justify differentiating between Arab and Ukrainian refugees

Hana Khalyleh 

Both examples are cited by The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA) in a statement calling for more responsibility, to stop blithely contrasting the lives of Arab people to white people in Ukraine, to stop treating the Middle East like an innately violent region, one where acts of brutality that kill children deserve indifference.

Axios (March 6, 2022) 

Ukraine crisis coverage reveals stark biases

Hope King

“One thing that we're seeing is an undeniable desensitization of journalists towards imagery around the Middle East and that kind of suffering,” Mahdis Keshavarz, board member with AMEJA, tells Axios.

CNN (March 4, 2022) 

How the Ukraine war exposed Western media bias

Abbas Al Lawati and Nadeen Ebrahim 

The media coverage prompted the New York-based Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association to issue a statement condemning the “pervasive mentality in Western journalism of normalizing tragedy” in places like the Middle East.

Its president Hoda Osman, who has reported for several Western media outlets, including France24, ABC News and CBS News, said the contrast between coverage of Western victims versus Middle Eastern ones demonstrates a dehumanization of the latter.

The Guardian (March 2, 2022) 

They are ‘civilised’ and ‘look like us’: the racist coverage of Ukraine

Moustafa Bayoumi

The US-based Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association was also deeply troubled by the coverage, recently issuing a statement on the matter: “Ameja condemns and categorically rejects orientalist and racist implications that any population or country is ‘uncivilized’ or bears economic factors that make it worthy of conflict,” reads the statement…

The Nation (March 2, 2022) 

Media Malpractice and Information War in Ukraine

Ishmael N. Daro 

This double standard is all the more apparent in how prominent journalists have discussed the war. CBS reporter Charlie D’Agata apologized after describing Ukraine as “civilized” compared to places like Iraq or Afghanistan, but he is far from alone. Others have similarly expressed shock that a war could happen outside a “third world nation” to people who “seem so like us.” In response to such examples, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association released a statement condemning “orientalist and racist” rhetoric and demanded that newsrooms apply the same consideration to all victims of war.

Business Insider (March 1, 2022) 

While trying to address the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, politicians and journalists show implicit bias by making comparisons to the Middle East

Sarah Al-Arshani 

Observers – including the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association – noted that remarks by D'Agata and other media reporters comparing the crisis in Ukraine to others in the Middle East did not meet journalistic standards and projected implicit biases. 

The New Arab (February 28, 2022) 

Ukraine invasion: Arab journalists call out 'orientalist, racist' double standards on Ukraine coverage

The New Arab Staff

"This type of commentary reflects the pervasive mentality in Western journalists of normalizing tragedy in parts of the world such as the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America," AMEJA said.

"It dehumanizes and renders their experience with war as somehow normal and expected."

NPR: All Things Considered (February 28, 2022)

Why Ukrainians are being treated differently than refugees from other countries

MAHDIS KESHAVARZ: And I think one very dangerous thing that we're seeing is - and it bears asking the question - is, have journalists become so desensitized to the suffering of different peoples of color, specifically people that are in war zones, that we're no longer seeing on the same level playing field?

Huff Post (February 27, 2022) 

CBS Journalist Apologizes For Saying Ukraine More 'Civilized' Than Iraq, Afghanistan

Josephine Harvey 

The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA) released a statement in response to coverage of the Ukraine crisis, citing D’Agata’s remarks as one of several examples of “racist news coverage that ascribes more importance to some victims of war over others.”

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