Islam, identity and professional values: A study of journalists in three Muslim-majority regions (Journalism)

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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