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Rosemary Pennington
Voices and Visions

Last modified: Thursday, March 5, 2009

NPR reporter to keynote conference, "Uncovering Islam: Representing, Reporting and Responsibilties"

March 5, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- National Public Radio national correspondent Jamie Tarabay will keynote a half-day workshop about Islam and Muslim practices for journalists and media professionals on March 27 in Bloomington, presented by Voices and Visions -- a consortium of six Title VI National Resource Centers at Indiana University, funded by the Social Science Research Council.

"Uncovering Islam: Representing, Reporting, and Responsibilties" is free and open to working journalists, journalism students and communication scholars. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bloomington Convention Center, 302 S. College Ave. Organizers hope to attract writers working in Indiana, northern Kentucky, western Ohio and eastern Illinois.

"In addition to providing a better understanding of the culture and religion, the workshop will focus on the roles and responsibilities of the media in the representation of Islam and Muslim lives," said Hilary Kahn, associate director of the Center for the Study of Global Change at IU. "Journalists, scholars and students will learn about the diversity of Islam and the role of the media in the portrayal of Islam and Muslims in the United States and beyond."

The workshop will consist of a morning panel that introduces journalists to basic Muslim practice and belief as well as Islamic Sharia law. There also will be a presentation by Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg, the authors of Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007), on how political cartoons have perpetuated a fear of Islam and Muslims.

In the afternoon, Robert King, religion reporter at the Indianapolis Star, will discuss his experiences reporting on Muslims in his community and how they have compared with his coverage of other religions. Steve Raymer, a National Geographic magazine staff photographer for more than two decades, author of Living Faith: Inside the Muslim World of Southeast Asia (Asia Images, 2001) and an associate professor of journalism at IU, will talk about photographing diverse Muslim societies.

After reporting from Iraq for two years as NPR's Baghdad bureau chief, Tarabay is working on a two-year project reporting on America's Muslims. The coverage will take in the country's approximately 6 million Muslims, of different ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and the issues facing their daily lives as Americans.

Australian by birth, and Lebanese by heritage, Tarabay grew up in Sydney, Berlin and Beirut and is fluent in Arabic and French. In 2007, Tarabay was part of the NPR News team that won the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of Iraq, the only news organization so recognized.

For the past nine years, Tarabay has been a foreign correspondent covering -- and living in -- some of the world's highest-profile regions of conflict. In September 2000, she arrived in Jerusalem as a correspondent for the Associated Press just days before the second intifada broke out. She captured her three years of reporting on Palestinians and Israelis in her first book, A Crazy Occupation: Eyewitness to the Intifada (Allen and Unwin, 2005).

For more information, contact Rosemary Pennington, Voices and Visions' project coordinator, at 812-855-0353. Registration information is available at