Published: February 12, 2011
Inside the Muslim (Journalist’s) Mind
The Pakistani public, long skeptical of American goals in
So far, the picture has not been pretty: the
Pakistan is a case in point: last year, we conducted a nationwide survey of 395 Pakistani journalists, supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. As the charts below show, our survey provided insight into where their beliefs and priorities intersect with American interests.
Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of Pakistani journalists oppose United States military operations in their country and in Afghanistan. Still, as a group, they are not overtly anti-American — three-quarters have a favorable view of the American people and a majority believe
It may surprise most Americans to know that Afghanistan falls fairly low among issues Pakistani journalists believe are important. Rather, the priorities are education and domestic terrorism, followed by the economy and domestic political change. This overlaps nicely with the American “stones into schools” strategy that development is the antidote to militancy. Indeed, as the United States broadens its effort to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, it would do well to look into the heads of the journalists who shape opinions in those societies.
Lawrence Pintak is the dean of the college of communication at Washington State University and author of “The New Arab Journalist: Mission and Identity in a Time of Turmoil,” and Syed Javed Nazir is a newspaper editor who teaches journalism at Lahore University of Management Sciences. Chart designed by Part & Parcel.