A group of students from UNC-Chapel Hill enrolled in a journalism class on diversity in media, were recently assigned to research the media coverage of Arab-Americans. Their assignment followed the Paris attacks and comments made by candidates campaigning for president.
“What we discovered was disheartening; media coverage of Arabs is biased, fulfills incorrect stereotypes and often promotes fear and mistrust,” said student Meirra Birath. “Coverage of Arab-Americans is almost non-existent, and is rarely positive.”
So the students have started a video campaign with the hashtag #ArabTruthTime2Talk. They started by asking five questions to random students on UNC campus and made a video compilation for each question.
How would you describe an Arab-American?
What’s the last positive news story you’ve heard about Arab-Americans?
How do you think we can improve the Arab-American image?
What do you think it’s like to be an Arab-American in America?
How are Arab-Americans represented in politics?
In the interest of “spreading truth not lies,” the students are publicly calling for others to join the conversation by asking similar questions to people they know like family, friends and neighbors: “Ask a question and videotape the answers, or ask yourself a question and record your answer, or record yourself answering one of our questions and post it on social media with the hashtag #ArabTruthTime2Talk.”