Imam Johari Hosts First Muslim-Media Roundtable

February 26th 2013, Imam Johari Abdul-MalikImam Johari Abdul-Malik is launching the Muslim-Media Roundtable Busboys and Poets (1025-5th Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 at 11:00am.

The Featured Presenters:

Sara Fitzgerald has served as a member of the board of directors of the United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication, Inc. (OC Inc.) since 2009. She worked as an editor and new media developer for The Washington Post from 1979 to 1994, and supervised its Religion page in 1980. She has also worked as an editor and reporter for National Journal magazine, The St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), The Miami Herald and the Akron Beacon Journal. As director of member services for the Interactive Services Association from 1994 to 1996, she worked on many public policy issues involving the early online industry. She is former president of the board of directors of the United Church of Christ’s Central Atlantic Conference, the denomination’s regional organization covering the area from New Jersey to Virginia, and is a longtime member of Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ in Arlington. She is the author of the recently published biography “Elly Peterson: ‘Mother’ of the Moderates,” published by the University of Michigan Press. She holds a B.A. in history and journalism from the University of Michigan.

Cheryl Leanza, principal in the A Learned Hand consulting firm (, currently serves as public policy adviser to the United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication, Inc. (OC Inc.) and as co-chair of the Media and Telecommunications Task Force of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Her other clients have included the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, the Future of Music Coalition, Public Knowledge and Native Public Media, among others. In addition, she served for over six years as the non-profit Media Access Project law firm, and as a staff member at the Federal Communications Commission. She holds masters and law degrees from the University of Michigan.

Muslim Media Roundtable

To facilitate broader and stronger relationships between Muslim (religious and civic) leaders and media professionals based on mutual trust and understanding.

Main Objectives:
Foster enhanced understanding of the issues (cultural, financial, geopolitical, historical, philosophical, and religious).
Facilitate introductions to the press of new resources across the Muslim community for press corps outreach as circumstances and issues warrant.
Create and maintain an environment of mutual trust among press corps and Muslims that will lead to greater cooperation and collaboration.
Facilitate relationships that will result in accurate, consistent, fair and balanced reporting on Islam and Muslims.

The Roundtable is the outgrowth of a private activist think tank, EMERGE786. The roundtable discussions will not be sponsored by any national Muslim organizations.

For the Record
All of the conversations will be “off-the-record”. Journalists are free to follow-up with any individuals after the event with the caveat that they are not representatives of nor speaking for the roundtable organizers.

Individual Introductions (10min)
Panel discussion on a selected topic (30min)
Roundtable discussion (30min)
Lunch & networking (20min)
Total Time: 1.5 hours

Start Time: 11:00am
End Time: 12:30pm

Outreach Objectives
Develop opportunities for Muslims to experience professional mentoring
Create opportunities to develop relationships with editors and editorial boards.

Members of the think tank will develop a list of prospective audience participants that will be composed of individuals that span the media spectrum (print, blogosphere, electronic). The primary goal of the meeting will be to strengthen relationships between Muslim newsmakers and shapers and the media.

The intention of the think tank is to invite members of Washington media press corps to quarterly events. The purpose of the events will be to expand and enhance relationships between the press corps and members of the Muslim community. The ultimate objective is to create relationships that will in turn result in consistent, accurate, fair and balanced reporting on affairs that are important to Muslims and the society within which they live.

Prospective Invitees
The roundtable guest list will be developed with the intention to promote ethnic, gender, and political and socioeconomic diversity. Invited participants consisting of prominent members of the Muslim community will be asked to invite professionals from the media that they would like to attend.
The guests will be from across the spectrum, including (1) mainstream media, (2) Muslims, (3) leaders from leading Muslim organizations, (4) subject matter specialists for roundtable topics, and (5) individuals that have a personal story to tell regarding the topic of the day. The guests will be sorted into random groups for the roundtable discussions.

A committee will select topics after getting feedback from members of the media and Muslim organizations.

Media Representation
For each roundtable, the goal is to have a total of the following:
10 Mainstream media (This includes Muslims working in mainstream media)
5 Muslim Media (Those representing Muslim media).

5 Leading Organizations (examples)
5 Specialist and activists (examples)
5 Community Stake holders (examples)

Media Muslim Media Muslim Organization Specialist Personal Group

2 1 1 1 1 A
2 1 1 1 1 B
2 1 1 1 1 C
2 1 1 1 1 D
2 1 1 1 1 E

For each roundtable matches will be made from a random of drawing lots. The intent is to create a new mix of media people and Muslims. Each table will have a facilitator that will help to focus the conversation.

Frequency: 4-6 per year (Quarterly)
Before Ramadan
Before Hajj
The other roundtable discussions will be spaced across the balance of the year.

Please note the following proposed occasions for the discussions:
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday mornings
During the late morning starting at approximately11:00 AM and concluding at 12:30 noon.

The Roundtable program duration will be for 90 minutes.

The roundtable organizers will host a brown-bag or low cost lunch. The Muslim Media Roundtable will strive to provide light refreshments.




The Federal Communications Commission’s report “The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age” This 360-page report, released in June 2011, found that while there has been tremendous innovation in the modern media landscape, there are also some very worrisome and consequential gaps in coverage. The full report, as well as an executive summary, is available at: 2011 Everett C. Parker Lecture in Ethics and Telecommunications (September, 2011) Video of 2011 Parker Lecture, presented by Steven Waldman, principal author of the Federal Communications Commission’s report “The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age” “Religion in the Media (December 2006-December 2007),” prepared by Douglas Gould and Company for the Ford Foundation’s Religion and Culture: Meeting the Challenge of Pluralism This report provided the third in a series of analyses of how the American media presented religious topics to the public and thus contributed to shaping Americans’ perceptions of religious institutions and practices. United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication, Inc. The United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication, Inc., (OC Inc.) is the media justice ministry of the United Church of Christ, a 1.1-million-member Protestant denomination Office of Communication, Inc.: United Church of Christ:

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