How To Make Islamist Propaganda And Influence Media - Sound Vision Director's Tips On How To Wage Stealth Jihad
January 3, 2017
Abdul Malik Mujahid
Media is Run by Human Beings and Human Beings Can Influence Them!
I will never forget this conversation.
An award-winning writer, working for a prominent American newspaper, was once traveling with me. I remember she kept asking me why Muslims don't respond to media coverage. She said that each time she wrote a positive story about Muslims, her paper received hundreds of emails, letters, and calls in protest, while hardly receiving appreciation. Her bosses didn't like that and it was counted against her.
She was eventually let go from that publication.
Another award-winning journalist, with no relation to the writer mentioned above, working for a different paper, told me exactly the same and was also eventually let go.
Muslims, like all Americans, love to hate media.
Americans' trust in mass media "to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly" has dropped to its lowest level, at 32%, in the Gallup polling history.
But media's work has real consequences for Muslims. According to the last survey available, the approval rating of Muslims stands at 17%. When the survey asked Americans why they hold such a low opinion of Muslims, they pointed to media.
Media has allowed Islamophobia to go mainstream. And, although, Americans don't trust television, radio, and newspaper, media is still a major source of news, with 57% people indicating that television is their main source of news.
So if you're worried about the bullying of Muslim children increasing by 660%, and 20% of bullies being teachers, you need to look no further than media.
Media can play a positive role. After 9/11, the approval rating of Muslims went as high as 59%, as media made a serious effort to portray Islam and Muslims in a more positive light.
This can happen again, but it will require work. It will require us to try and influence media by developing relationships with human beings working in media.
But don't delegate this to some organization. Organizations will do their work, but media is too massive and too omnipresent to be a task delegated to a couple of staffers or even volunteers.
Each Muslim needs to take personal charge of this work, and each masjid needs to focus on at least one media outlet.
What You can Personally do for Positive Media Relations
Help Your Masjid and Organization to Enhance Media Relations
Remember that the media is made up of humans, and relationships matter a great deal. You can influence them. Reporters appreciate it when you get to know who they are and what they care about.
I am aware of several success stories when individual Muslims have been able to win over the hearts and minds of human beings in media.
However, sabr--or patience--is the key. Change will not happen overnight. Relationships take time.
The consequences of bad media coverage for Muslims are immense. Don't expect some organization to handle media relations for you. You and I, as responsible citizens, must personally engage in this work as well.