Monday 11 March 2019, 5.30 – 6.30pm
Quadrangle History Room S226, University of Sydney
Join Janet Steele, author of Mediating Islam: Cosmopolitan Journalisms in Muslim Southeast Asia, for a seminar on Islamic journalism.
What is Islamic journalism? It depends on where you stand. In Indonesia or Malaysia, journalism and Islam can have many different faces.
At Sabili, an Indonesian Islamist magazine first established as an underground publication, journalists were hired for their ability
at dakwah, or Islamic propagation. At Tempo on the other hand, a weekly Indonesian news magazine that was banned by the Soeharto regime and returned to print in 1998, journalists don’t talk much
about sharia. Although many are pious and see their work as a manifestation of worship, the Islam they practice has been described as cosmopolitan, progressive, and even liberal. Does Islamic journalism require that reporters support an Islamic party as they do at Harakah newspaper in Malaysia? Or is it more important to practice the kind of substantial Islam promoted by the Indonesian newspaper Republika? What about Muslim journalists who work at secular news organization such as Malaysiakini?
Journalists at these five news organisations in one of the world’s most populous Muslim regions draw upon what are arguably universal principles of journalism, but understand and explain them through the lens of what I call an Islamic idiom. What they say about the meaning of their work suggests a richness of experience that has been overlooked by both scholars and those engaged in international affairs.
Janet Steele is an Associate Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, and the director of the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication.
This seminar is co-hosted by SSEAC and Media@Sydney, Department of Media and Communications.