Twice in the last 19 months, friends and acquaintances have asked me to make presentations about the media at Cuyahoga Community College. The first presentation, in Fall 2013, regarded media coverage about the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Back then, almost no one in the United States had heard of ISIS.
Many of our main media outlets are more concerned about profits and ratings than providing in-depth news and analysis about matters of national and global concern. So, as Syria’s civil war goes on and ISIS becomes a major threat to peace, Americans are pretty ignorant about it.
One of these days I will post all four of my “Timeless Truths” about the mass media in a blog. Suffice to say, students in my JMC 1011 Intro to Mass Communication classes learn these truths and gain a much greater appreciation that way of how the media functions. But Timeless Truth Number 1 is simple enough for everyone to get: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS.
But I digress.
About 10 days ago, I was privileged to be a speaker for “Culture Shock” a terrific annual program presented at Cuyahoga Community College’s West Campus. The event is part of the college’s very important Diversity Series. This particular time, I was fortunate to have a co-presenter with me, Shamina Merchant, who’s a senior at Brecksville Broadview-Heights High School.
Shamina Merchant with me at Culture Shock 2015
Shamina spoke on the Muslim faith, and gave an excellent summary of some tenets of it.
My role was to present information on our mainstream media, and how it mis-characterizes Muslims and the Middle East in general. (Confession: due to my recent eye surgery, I didn’t research this talk as much as I had for the Syria talk in Fall 2013.).
It is gratifying to make these presentations, and I’m glad that students and adults believe the talks and explanations shed a lot of light on why the U.S. media does such a poor job covering Muslims, the Middle East, etc.
Below I’ve uploaded and created links to my 2015 presentation, to Shamina’s presentation, and to my 2013 presentation about Syria. Feel free to download and take a look. I’m grateful to my long-time friend Pierre Bejjani and the non-profit, non-partisan organization CAMEO, to Shamina Merchant and her family, to Isam Zaiem and the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and of course to my friend and colleague Dr. Susan Lohwater at Cuyahoga Community College for encouraging me to make these presentations.
Our beliefs are not the same, but we all share a dislike for those who hate and we have a longing to replace ignorance with information and understanding. That’s needed more than ever in 2015.
If you wish to speak further with me about this topic, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME OTHER LINKS ON THIS SUBJECT:
My 2013 presentation on Syria syria
Shamina’s presentation on April 9 Misunderstandings
My presentation on April 9 misunderstand muslims
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