Racism in the media: what is the responsibility of journalists?

July 9, 2020

Can we be racist without knowing it? Is racism in Arab countries "harmless" as some claim? 

Why Mariam Fares and Tania Saleh's blackface is rather an insult than a sign of solidarity? The recent take on racism made by the Palestinian Black actress Maryam Abu Khaled, which went viral on social media, shows the everyday life of Black people in the region. Whether they are citizens of these countries, foreign workers or refugees, the Blacks of North Africa and Middle East are remaining silent and suffer of being dehumanized by a so-called "humor" embedded in the popular culture. But what is the responsibility of journalists and media in these degrading representations? What biases do they, sometimes unintentionally, convey? How can they become aware of this and no longer contribute to the dissemination of racist stereotypes?

Join the conversation on Thursday, 9th of July with Maha Abdelhamid and the journalist Isma'il Kushkush:

  • 5pm in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco
  • 6pm in Libya and Egypt
  • 7pm in Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen

Maha Abdelhamid is a doctor in social geography and an anti-racism activist. She started in January 2020 the first movement of black Tunisian women: "Voice of black Tunisian women" whose aim is to empower them and encourage them to get rid of the invisibility imposed on them by society.

Isma'il Kushkush is a Sudanese American journalist who was based in Khartoum and worked for the New York Times, CNN, Voice of America and Al Jazeera. He has covered the political, economic, social and cultural affairs of Sudan, Southern Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, Sweden and the United States.


You are an Arabic speaking journalist and want to continue the debate ?
Join the facebook group

The aim of AMA BAAD is to stimulate collective thinking and good practices sharing among arabic speaking journalists.