journalism

Last week, for the first time ever, there was a panel dedicated to discussion of public diplomacy at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Held in Washington, DC the conference, and this panel in particular, offered an opportunity for scholars to talk about the emergence of public diplomacy as a subject of study in the discipline.

In May 2010, when the Washington Post Company put Newsweek up for sale, it called for bids from interested parties. One surprising entry into the race was Southern Media Group, a Chinese media conglomerate that publishes the relatively liberal newspaper Southern Weekly, among other products. I was a Beijing correspondent for Newsweek at the time, and I remember several Chinese people asking me, with a mixture of pride and apprehension, whether I thought Southern Media Group had a chance. Unsurprisingly, the answer was no.

"So far everything is fine, there is a lot of talk, but its quiet in Benghazi. As far as any of us can see, Gaddafi's troops are nowhere near the city." The satellite connection was more or less clear, if a bit tinny. On the other end, 5,000 miles away, my wife didn't sound convinced. It wouldn't help that the next morning found us fleeing Benghazi with the international press corps, on the back of a hastily flagged down truck.

One of America’s flagship weekly national news magazines, Newsweek, faced a Title VII Civil Rights Act gender discrimination case from 46 of its female employees in 1970. Despite that important case so many years ago, in 2009 a group of Newsweek’s female reporters wrote with dismay that not much had changed. 43 of 49 Newsweek cover stories that year were written by men, and, across America, women got only one byline at a major magazine for every seven bylines by their male colleagues.

The 12th yearly ‘Chiranthana-UAE Exchange Media Awards’ were recently given to four Indian journalists working in the UAE’s print, TV and radio media. The four award winners were selected for their contribution to the welfare of the Indian expatriate community in the UAE, by airing their woes and grievances in effective ways that helped the poor and low-income sections of society.

Several popular Egyptian television channels said they will suspend entertainment programming on Friday so that viewers can join protests urged by the army to confront “violence” and “terrorism." In a joint statement, the channels said the decision was “consistent with the will of the Egyptian people and in response to the call [by the army] to rally throughout Egypt on Friday, July 26 against terrorism.”

This means that fewer minorities are getting the opportunity to work in news, and news organizations are losing their ability to empower , represent, --and especially in cases where language ability is crucial, even to report on minority populations in their communities.

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