After years of discourse on the distortion of Islam by the media, this paper suggests that the link in understanding the (mis)representation of Islam is in the corpus of Orientalism. It argues that reporting on religions, or reporting on Islam, be adopted as critical components in the curricula of journalism education. It notes that in Malaysia, despite a proliferation of journalism/communication schools over more than three decades, there is no course on the reportage of religions/Islam. Such a course could be embedded in the historical contexts of encounters between the West and Islam and the assumption that the language of news and the language of religion are two incompatible paradigms. This paper calls for overcoming this incompatibility. In what has been neglected as an important component in intellectual production having spiritual and emotional ramifications, this paper argues for re-examining the conceptual and ontological aspects of the reportage of Islam/ religion, the journalism curriculum and the intellectual production process in the university.
Recommended CitationMerican, Ahmad Murad, Orientalism in reporting religion: Approaches to teaching journalism and Islam as a civilization, Asia Pacific Media Educator, 20, 2010, 163-176.