National Media Meet – Quest for an Alternative Media
V.A. Mohamad Ashrof
In addition to seeking an alternate media, we have to try to make in-roads into the so-called mainstream media. 95% of the media-men are ignorant regarding Islam and Muslim issues due to various reasons. Multi pronged approach is necessary to dispel such misunderstandings which may include:
a. Distributing literature which scholarly exposes the myths created by the Islamophobes, fascists and imperialists as part of their political and cultural strategy.
b. Undertaking essay contests among Journalists offering attractive prizes and providing suitable reading materials.
c. Conducting media workshops with the active participation of media persons.
d. Active liaison work among media personal with special focus on those who are at the helm of affairs.
e. Concerted efforts should be made for properly responding the anti-Muslim, Islamophobic and pro-Hindutva contents of the print and electronic media.
f. The major task is the creation of proper monitoring mechanism of the mainstream media (both print and electronic) in order to keep an eye on how the various issues are covered by them. Based on serious studies on the media coverage, dossiers and monographs are to be prepared and specially distributed among media personals. The exposure of the media contents may also be documented as archived files in specific website intended for the purpose.
2. Muslims of Kerala possess at least 4 major newspapers. However the tragedy is that their circulation is very much limited among the Muslims, of course with some honourable exceptions. If these Muslim owned newspapers could get a wider circulation among the non-Muslim reading public, the so-called mainstream newspapers would be forced to restructure their contents and the present anti-Muslim posture. We have to develop multiple strategies to get an in-road into non-Muslim readership.
3. Our publications should be changed into more broad based, inclusive and anti-sectarian, so that they cater the human side of the stories, which are acceptable to the general public, and they should be strictly on the perspective of justice.
4. They should develop a language devoid of Muslim technical terms so that they attract more non-Muslim readership.
5. Training of professional journalists is the most important thing. Giving scholarships to aspiring students should get prime importance.