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.