Palestinian jounalists to speak on U.S. media coverage of the middle East peace process

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Palestinian jounalists to speak on U.S. media coverage of the middle East peace process

Dr. Atef Salama, a Fulbright scholar and Palestinian journalist, will speak on U.S. media coverage of the Middle East on Thursday, April 8, from noon to 2 p.m. in the University Student Union, Room 312 at California State University, Fresno.

Salama, chair of the department of journalism at An-Najah National University in Nablus, West Bank, is a visiting Fulbright scholar this semester in Fresno State’s department of mass communication and journalism. He will discuss the accuracy and impacts of U.S. media portrayals of the Middle East peace process. He has extensive experience as a journalist, journalism educator, and mass communication researcher.

“The Middle East has been the subject of intense coverage by the U.S. mass media,” Salama said, “but this coverage has been plagued by stereotypes and an emphasis on conflict.”

He said those stereotypes “have helped to create public misconception of events and conditions in the Middle East.”

Salama also will assess the future of peace in the Middle East. He said the Middle East peace process will reach a critical juncture in the next few months. Salama noted that the Oslo Agreement will soon expire, Yasser Arafat is preparing to declare an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and Israel will hold important national elections.

“The American public needs to receive thorough and objective news coverage of these events which will affect the Middle East for years to come,” Salama said.

In addition to his duties at An-Najah National University, Salama teaches journalism at Beir Zeit University, West Bank. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1988 from Munster University, West Germany, with a major in mass communication and minors in political science and in Orientalism.

Salama is the editor of several magazines and journals, and is an internationally-recognized expert on issues related to mass media and the Middle East.

The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Rita Atwood, mass communication and journalism professor, at (559) 278-4868.