Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism. Vol. 15, No. 4, 2014. Lawrence Pintak.

Islam is a religion, but it is also a philosophy. An analysis of surveys in the Arab world,
Indonesia and Pakistan reveals that the mission and values of journalists in those
Muslim-majority regions closely track Islamic obligations to tell the truth, seek justice
and work toward the public interest. This article provides empirical data to bolster
the argument that the values of Islam are the prism through which journalists in
Muslim-majority countries approach their profession. Those findings add to the body
of research supporting the theory that journalistic norms are contextual, shaped by a
hierarchy of influences that include global standards and local values such as culture,
political climate and religion. But the findings also indicate that in regions where a
professional journalistic culture is in the process of emerging, the influence of personal
versus professional values is in reverse proportion to those found in more mature
journalistic markets.

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By Lawrence Pintak

Lawrence Pintak is an award-winning journalist and scholar. He is a former CBS News Middle East correspondent and was founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University (2009-2016). He was named a Fellow of the Society by the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017 for "outstanding service to the profession of journalism" around the world. Pintak is a contributor to, The Daily Beast, and other outlets. Read his articles at His books include Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam & The War of Ideas; Islam for Journalists (co-editor); The New Arab Journalist; and Seeds of Hate: How America’s Flawed Middle East Policy Ignited the Jihad. He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales, Trinity St. David. Follow him on Twitter @LPintak.

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