By MARK PEARSON
Our Reporting Islam project team won the Communication and Media Achievement Award category of the Queensland Multicultural Awards on Saturday (August 20, 2016).
My co-investigator Associate Professor Jacqui Ewart and project manager Abdi Hersi accepted the award on behalf of our team.
Here are the award details, as outlined in media statements from Griffith University and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Grace Grace.
For more information about the project and its resources, please see www.reportingislam.org.
Reporting Islam Project wins Qld Multicultural Award
[Griffith University media statement]
Griffith University has won a 2016 Queensland Multicultural Award for its ground-breaking Reporting Islam Project.
Led by Associate Professor Jacqui Ewart and Professor Mark Pearson from the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, the world-first project aims to combat the negative stereotyping of Islam and Muslims in the media.
Since its inception in 2014, the project team has created a suite of research-based multi-media training and education resources for Australian media practitioners and tertiary institutions.
“The Queensland Multicultural Awards are a great initiative and we are honoured to be this year’s winners in the communication and media achievement category,” Associate Professor Jacqui Ewart said.
“Our project is about improving the quality of mainstream news media relating to Islam through the development of research-based best practice resources for journalists to encourage more mindful and accurate reporting of Muslims and the Islamic faith.”
“Our team has developed an app, a website, a reporting handbook, audio visual materials and two training packages.”
Find out more: Multicultural Awards finalists
Muslims negatively stereotyped
Associate Professor Ewart said the idea for the project was sparked by research showing that Islam and Muslims were routinely and negatively stereotyped in Australian news media.
“There is ample evidence of the negative impact of this news media coverage on Australian Muslims.
“We believe that fair, ethical and accurate reporting on matters involving Islam and Muslims will help promote social cohesion and feelings of inclusiveness for Muslim people and help build community confidence and resilience.”
Developed in consultation with south east Queensland Muslim community leaders and Australian news media organisations, the project team is delivering targeted training courses nationally.Strong partnerships have also been formed with Australian Muslim community members, international academic experts, educators and media industry personnel. The project team’s innovative and proactive approach promotes acceptance and understanding of Islam across diverse cultural groups and the wider community.
The 2016 Queensland Multicultural Awards were announced at the Logan Entertainment Centre on Saturday, August 20 as part of Queensland’s Multicultural Month celebrations.
Queensland’s brightest multicultural achievers have been recognised at today’s Queensland Multicultural Awards, held in Logan.
Multicultural Affairs Minister Grace Grace announced the eight winners and congratulated all 27 finalists during a gala luncheon that was also attended by Health Minister and Member for Woodridge Cameron Dick.
“These awards recognise some of the outstanding organisations and individuals who are such a vital part of Queensland’s multicultural success story,” she said.
“Community groups, volunteers, businesses and sporting organisations are just some of those recognised by these prestigious awards.
“I want to congratulate all finalists for their efforts to create a harmonious and inclusive Queensland.
“It really is the icing on the cake to be having these awards during Queensland Multicultural Month, Queensland’s largest multicultural celebration.”
Ms Grace said all finalists were setting a great example and providing inspiration to all Queenslanders.
“They remind us that Queensland always has, and always will, depend on the skill and talent of people drawn from all parts of the globe,” she said.
Communication and Media Achievement Award – Reporting Islam Project Team (Nathan). They aimed to combat the negative stereotyping of Islam and Muslims in the media through the development of a research-based, best practice guide for journalists reporting on stories about Islam and Muslims
Queensland Multicultural Award winners:
- Minister’s Multicultural Award – Multicultural Community Centre (Newmarket). The centre assists migrants, refugees and disadvantaged members of the community through settlement services, training and employment support
- Outstanding Volunteer – Naseema Mustapha (Highgate Hill). She was involved in causes such as blanket and clothing drives to assist asylum seekers, English tutoring, fundraising for orphanages in Africa and the Griffith University Refugee Students’ Association Refugee Day Festival.
- Business Excellence Award – Townsville Hospital and Health Service (Townsville). The hospital partnered with TAFE North Queensland to provide work experience to 18 refugee and migrant job seekers. The program also gave participants their first experience in gardening, painting, food preparation, cleaning and plumbing at Townsville Hospital.
- Communication and Media Achievement Award – Reporting Islam Project Team (Nathan). They aimed to combat the negative stereotyping of Islam and Muslims in the media through the development of a research-based, best practice guide for journalists reporting on stories about Islam and Muslims
- Employment, Education and Training Innovation Award – Private Enterprise – The Multicultural Sports Club (Logan) is an initiative of Multicultural Youth Queensland, a youth-led innovative, not-for-profit organisation which provides targeted services, programs and projects to improve life outcomes for young people aged 12 to 30 years old.
- Employment, Education and Training Innovation Award – Public Sector – Queensland Police Service Academy – ROLE program (Oxley). The program pairs police with students from a Brisbane high school where they work with mentors and encourage Year 9 students to participate in team building activities
- Services and Communities Award – Individual – Regina Samykanu-Vuthapanich (Gatton). She set up the first Youth Council in the Lockyer Valley, established the Gatton Multicultural Festival and the Overseas Students Association Support Group. She also founded the Lockyer Valley Multicultural Association and the Somerset Migrant Resource Centre.
- Services and Communities Award – Organisation – The Friends of HEAL Foundation (Yeronga). The organisation provides creative arts therapy to young people from refugee backgrounds and also helps refugee children settle into their new community
For more details on Queensland Multicultural Month head to www.qld.gov.au/multiculturalmonth
Disclaimer: While I write about media law and ethics, nothing here should be construed as legal advice. I am an academic, not a lawyer. My only advice is that you consult a lawyer before taking any legal risks.
© Mark Pearson 2016