tv Muslims and the Media CSPAN January 4, 2016 12:01am-1:24am EST
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coverage. and then up at issue is not meant to debate. after that, a conversation about race relations in america. >> three days after the muslim -- three days after the san shootings, the muslim public affairs council held its annual convention in long beach, california. this runs a one hour and 20 minutes.
>> good afternoon everyone. i'm am edina lekovic and happy to have served the council for over a decade. we are happy to take off our final and convention 15 session. we come here to culminate with this session before we have our banquet in a few hours. before we begin this session, i would like to introduce the cofounder and president who will kickoff the unconvention. >> in the name of god most gracious and merciful. thank you for joining us. i hope you plan on staying with us for the banquet tonight. it is our 15th annual. we started these events shortly go. but we are growing.
you are going to see tonight hopefully how the mpac has become a national voice on some of these issues. tonight in today this convention has the theme of celebrating our shared humanity. what a timely topic, because it is our shared humanity that will help us overcome the ideology of hate. whether that hate is manifest in the form of international terrorism or in the form of xenophobia and hate crimes domestically. we need to have a united front. along both lines. people have been asking us since tragedy,ernardino first they asked what is it in your religion that causes people to do things like what happened in san bernardino? our answer is our religion is telling us to do exactly the opposite. our religion is about mercy and compassion and justice. our religion is about, if you save a life, you have saved all of humanity. if you kill a life, it is as if you have killed all of humanity.
apparently they are not reading the same text that we are reading. or it is not being processed. we are a religion, they are a cult. we are actually the nemesis to terrorism. the antidote to terrorism. we can empower mainstream communities to overcome and prevail the ideology. they ask is, why are you not speaking out. our answer is, if you go to the website of all of the muslim organizations, you will see documented the condemnation of terrorism over and over again. read it is obvious we cannot make this problem disappear with press releases alone. civicrequired to engagement and partnerships of those who are working with us can help us amplify the message. we demonstrate our work to the american public. so they see us as the example and standardbearer of our
religion and we see the front exactly like that. there are french operation like every religious group has. every religious group as fringe aberrations. more importantly, they see with our partnership with law enforcement that we are the answer to the problem of peoples insecurities and fears in america. so, our partnership with law enforcement means we will work on the ideological social aspect of the problem and they will work on the terminal aspect of the problem and the criminal investigation of the problem and we will can't-and-hand in partnership. that partnership will help us overcome the challenge. we are proud to have with us the chief of the lapd. we just wrote a joint op-ed with him about partnership in the l.a. paper. the department of
homeland security, they are here to say to american muslims this is the home for all people. muslim, christian, jew, christian, buddhist. they are here to protect us from anyone who is trying to harm us. the way to overcome the problems of xenophobia is to not be intimidated by shows of the violence. you cannot terrorize us. they want to influence audiences by terrorizing people. we say we will be the turning point in defeating that radical ideology. they want to influence audience by terrorizing people. when we have the stamina and strength of resolve to say you will not terrorize us, they will become frustrated. we were just commenting on terrorism of backlash over and over again. the answer to that is yes and no. yes there is friction. yes, there is heavy weight on us. at the same time, this is our light. this is our moment. we are here to change the narrative of the islam in america.
that islam in america is part of the pluralism that contributes to civilization where we can and rich society with our contribution. that america will enrich the contribution with muslim input. and so, the terrorism that is coming from the disintegration of the middle east cannot control, but we can control the environment here. that is why this panel is important. how do we get to our message out so we control our own narrative?
with that i thank you and candid back over for the discussion. edina said it, she started it 10 years ago when she was 10 years old -- [laughter] >> we are glad to have her. she's been on radio and television and does a wonderful job. edina: thank you. we are gathered here today as a combination of a series of event that was held all over california for the past couple of months. when we stepped back and thought about the 15th anniversary, where we gather together to talk about the issues of today, to take stock of where we have been for the year, in and to think of the possibilities that lay ahead, one of the things it came first and foremost into our minds was the change in the nature of the communities. 15 years ago at annual conventions and convention halls this was the norm.
the space where muslims came together to meet, exchange ideas, go shopping and bazaars, meet old friends in and new ones. today, conventions are not the way to go. you do not have to go to a convention center to interact with the movers and shakers shaping the issues that are impacting our daily lives. you can go instead online. you can go to a lot of places. we decided to turn our convention on its head. so then rather than calling all of our committee members to come here for a day of programming, we would instead go out to communities said that we could bridge the gap and listen to communities and also bring to them they voices they may not be hearing and the local areas.
the voice of change who are leading the change we would all like to see in public policy public image making through , media and hollywood and through new innovative projects both online and in person. they are changing the nature not just in our community, so you you may be seeing the pictures on the screen of some of the sessions willion have had in california. the first one took place of the islamic center of san diego valley. we featured up-and-coming voices who are leading change in this and innovative areas. the second session we had was at the islamic center california where we looked at the question of homelessness. he angeles mayor said declared a war on homelessness this year and declared he would and homelessness here in los angeles this year. it is a regional priority and it is one that hits close to home
for muslims because it is one of our core values to take care of people who need help to get back on their feet. another session was held and what we did there was a let's be honest forum. we brought together an attorney and a young leader to talk about the taboo issues that do not get discussed in our communities very often. and that was in front of an audience filled with muslim and --e men that young people that was filled with muslim and young young health -- people who had a great deal in common with social issues and challenges they are facing. we had a fantastic discussion about everything from relationships and dating to our scriptures to how we make moral decisions and a host of other things. then we moved to orange county where we considered muslims on screen. we ask the question, is it getting any better? that is part of what we come to today. what we had there was up and coming up muslims, some of them very well established i should
say, to give us a first-hand account of whether things are getting better and where the opportunity for change are. that was a fascinating session. we wrapped it up in west los angeles. we talked about confronting --am of phobia, islamophobia, learning lessons through the lens of communities based by marginalization. including the mormon, catholic, and jewish communities. the lessons we gained there are more valuable than ever particularly considering the events of this week. this session is called, new era, new media. opportunities for change. there could not be a more appropriate time for us to consider the meaning of this. when we came up with it, the new aero we had in mind was certainly not this one today. but certainly, we are all facing a new era because of what took place in san bernardino. the intersection of new media, old media, virtual media, and others i have probably not heard
of yet, are changing the landscape of what it takes to be an dev citizen. -- ian active citizen. the american muslim community is changing. but since you are new media challenging old media whether its print newspaper or television television network. networks. so today, i am really pleased to be able to introduce you to a fantastic panel who will share with you personal insights from their longer careers where they are at the leading edge of some of these very questions. you have their bios in the
programs is so i am not going to read them in detail. i want to introduce the panelists and jump right into our conversation. to my immediate right to we have tiffany who is senior vice president of entertainment diversity and communications at cbs television. [applause] edina: she has been a long-standing partner with mpac. you have heard about our young leaders in a hollywood where we are encouraging young people to pursue careers in this arena. cbs has been a regular stop and an amazing place. to her right, we are really happy to have with us may get in, who is one of the deputy managing editors with the los angeles times. it certainly could not be a busier newsday so we are grateful she peeled herself away way to be with us here today. and then we have the only male on the panel. which is a nice change. no stranger to this community, he grew up in southern california and has been a trailblazer in leading new media since before social media even existed.
he was the founder of a lot of internet startups that started to put islamic organizing online in in unexpected way. since then he served with the state department as a senior adviser and helped create a program called generation change that supported young social entrepreneurs around the world to lead change in their societies. he has since come back and started a startup incubator exclusively for muslim social entrepreneurs.
thank you for coming all the way from washington, d.c., to be with us. before i ask our panelists to start with opening comments, i will ask two things. we had hoped we would have with this to executive producers, but they had a scheduling conflict at the last minute and were not able to join us. you will notice their information in the program, but we are pleased to have an intimate conversation with the brief time we have. this session is being recorded by c-span and will air later this month on c-span. please keep an eye out for that. we are joined by viewers online through periscope. we will be getting questions from our viewers online and we ask that you share questions throughout this discussion. i will start out the conversation, but i hope to alternate between your questions and my own. cards will be coming around.
but this is 2015 and new media, so we will also ask you to tweet in questions. use the hashtag mpac15, or you can put questions on cards. whatever you refer. we are old-school and new-school at the same time. please, this conversation is yours, i am just here to help kick it off. we talking about this intersection. megan and tiffany, you both said in old media if you will. working with the television network and one of the largest newspapers in the united states, if not the world. and, you have been a pioneer of looking at new media. i would like to talk to you about your broad observation about how the landscape has changed during your career. what has changed?
how is new media telling into this? is it fundamentally changing? the work that you do? or is it more noise than , substance, perhaps? let's start there and tiffany, i will ask you to open. tiffany: as opposed to old, i like the word seasoned. we are and seasoned media, i would say. or traditional. absolutely, i have been with cbs 417 years. 17 years. i look out into the crowd and i see a lot of foreheads because everyone is on a device. it is almost an extension of our hands now. it has changed when everything is so immediate and fast. before, you would issue press releases, it would take a while, we would use typewriters. so seasoned typewriters, now
computers. everything now is much more in media to and regardless if it is factually accurate. sometimes that is something, does not matter if it is true. so many times in media, someone wants to be first. that has changed more than anything. we have to keep up with it all stop it is a beast that needs to be fed. it is no longer, wait until the 6:00 or 11:00 news. it is immediate. when you wake up, it is the first thing you check. you cannot even watch a film without seeing a screen. i want to tweet about it, facebook, tell everyone. that is the other thing that has changed remarkably since i started in the business. >> certainly, the speed is something that -- i was talking to my colleagues thinking, you used to have to call the library. right? they would help you locate
a person. i thought, what did i do all day? that is definitely a challenge. i also think it is exciting because there is an immediacy that never used to exist. and that goes both ways. where i see a change, you use to publish the newspaper and you would have -- the way you would hear or interact with readers would be at one time, really, just letters to the editor. or even when i was first , starting out at the washington post a long time ago, they still printed, you know, they wrote down messages on a piece of paper and you had to go up to the operator to get the message. now, where i think the new landscape can be exciting is that you can talk to people more directly. you can hear from them. you can also find out more about people. but yes, speed is an issue.
right? that you have to be accurate. this weekend shown that sorting through what is true, what is not true, would his room or what is responsible. -- but it is a rumor, or what is responsible. sensitivity to the repercussions of making a mistake or overstating or understating information is challenging. as it is some of the interaction you get from readers that may not be as pleasant. for example, everything we wrote bernardino case, we had to make sure was right or we were going to bet comments about. outink trying to figure where it is valuable to sort of honest conversation about questions and misunderstandings a hand where that veers into something that veers into something you are trying to report responsibly.
myselfremember finding in silicon valley in the 1990's surrounded by this revolution. i remember the people involved in the idea of the new medium being the one that replaces the old medium. they were driven by the same, message. is the they wanted to completely replace that. i think they did not realize what they were writing on. one revolution. it started with multimedia, it went to the internet and blogs, then social media. revolution after revolution. at the time we have come all this way, we still grapple with what that means because of you look at the system where in now, if you put all your faith in is multiple, there
codexis upgrade. it is much easier to put out sensationalist or violent or moderate themes than ones. the internet favors extremist speech and that is not a level playing field. when people talk about extremist speech versus moderate speech, they have a leg up. extension -- attention spans have been driven to tweets. how do you disseminate large information to small information? we used to call that poetry. attention spans have gotten so journalismongform makes it harder to do that. whether people tweeting? what are they putting on this book? they're posting journalism. they are posting the traditional stuff they used to bash.
right? over 15 or 20 years they have devalued it to nothing. they do not want to pay for it actually constitutes want the journalism. you are starting to see longform as people try to figure out how to manage this new medium. you are finding solid journalism , even back in things like buzzfeed. actually starting to read much more additional journalism again. i feel like it has come and circle. but we're still in the middle of that revolution into it has still not shaken out yet. people feel like will have turbulence. the i guarantee that is not the case now. i think what we need to do is go back to basics. right? have to ask themselves, maybe
the medium is the message. maybe left to go back to what is removing patel. this has now been democratized storiesople can tell and 88. right? this has been the year of the hashtag. just started this journey. i do not know but will end up i am hoping it will end in a place where we fully understand and know each other better. has there is hostility. it is a horrible place to be if you are a woman, if you are somebody people are not familiar with, it is really difficult to be a muslim. but i do think the saints will pass as we mature. as we figure out how to balance. as the majority of us realize the opportunities we
have to project on these spaces in the way that the first adopters, many of whom were the extreme kind of people. i am hopeful. toblood thing i would like say, a lot of times when we talk about negative comments or negativity wins, i feel like you think they are 10 feet tall behind a device. behind a computer, behind a phone. you do not have to physically deal with the ramifications of talking to someone face-to-face. another thing about negativity, i am at an eternal optimist. when you ask someone, how are you doing, and they said, i am doing great. no one ever asks, how great? they just say that's great, what else is going on this mark if they say, how are you doing and they said, my templates, i am sick. we can talk about that over and over again. misery that the
loves company very easily. thank you. tags of the things that has -- one of the things that has changed is the urgency of time. like san bernardino. it has certainly of the decision making. i want to start with you, megan. how decision-making has changed at the l.a. times since the morning or afternoon and addition. the round-the-clock new cycle. minute by minute news cycle. information being contributed a online through citizen journalists, if you will. how that is impacting decision-making at the los angeles times. i have even what constitutes a good story these days so that we prevent speculation where possible and make good decisions. megan: i can talk about what happened on wednesday morning.
interestingly enough, the first sign is something was amiss in san bernardino was a tweet the san bernardino fire department sent out saying they had been responding to a shooting that had up to 20 victims. the way it works in newsrooms now, we have a monetary constantly for news on social thea which can often be first time you hear something. you could hear something that is incorrect, but you follow up on it. the other night, the stone temple pilots singer was found dead. dave navarro,from another rocker. you hear it and have to investigate it. number be could that right? i was in my office and walked out to the floor. we sent out to
police scanner. they sometimes speculate on there. again, just like social media, more of a tip sheet rather than some you would report directly off of. we send i think probably three reporters immediately and then another five within 15 minutes of that heading out to san bernardino from downtown los angeles. while they are heading there, we're trying to work on sources, and social media, and other news reports to figure out what we thought we knew. i think that what happens -- this is really a good example, the l.a. times like many "legacy" news organizations -- really are trying to figure out, how do you operate in this era? i will ask the room, how many of you -- i hope you still get a print newspaper -- how many of you are waiting for your newspaper in the morning to find out what happened in the world? a couple.
ok. i'm amazed. good for you. good for me. most people are not waiting even if they get a newspaper for the news. particularly in a huge breaking news event like this, the broader implications were not clear. in this country, we go through these mass shootings at a stunning regularity right now. i remember this was something that was pretty unusual at one point in my career and now does not feel unusual of all. we fired up a live blog for paris. we have reporting from colorado springs. it is sadly routine. that said, i think especially in a major new situation, i think as a respected news source, we bear responsibility for separating fact from fiction or speculation. i think you feel that responsibility that, i will take scott weiland. we were the first organization to speak to his wife. and we were very careful in
sanford idea to major the everything we were recording we need to be true. we waited on some things. we did not even connect the chase and the firefight with police officers immediately. it seems pretty clear it was probably related to what had happened. we did not connect them until it was connected. i was at a conference a couple of years ago, called the future of storytelling, and one of the men at the conference to actually works in the music business was talking about how when music became available online and people to post to youtube and various other sources, a lot of people thought it has been democratized.
taste makers won't matter as much because people will set with a light and he said that an interesting thing happened. djs became suddenly more because -- important than they had been in years because it is difficult to sort through everything out there. you're still looking for some and to help you curate and understand the news. just like you are looking for some and to help guide you to the kind of music that you might like. i think there's a need for professionals to be a part of the conversation.
tiffany, i want to turn to you, because a situation like san bernardino, the line between news media and hollywood media, someone argue is getting more i'm curious about how the events in san bernardino or similar ones whether it is paris or others, impacted decision-making at the network around sensitive storylines are other things that people look to television to define social norms. obviously yes it's for entertainment. however sometimes a lot of dramas will feature storylines that might be received as insensitive. we looked at those before, look at our storylines, look at the content, are there too many guns being used? we look at those and we make sure we are being sensitive to the climate as well as her audience. we deftly do that. even on supergirl, something where we make sure that we switch the particular episode. that is always top of mind. >> thank you.
with the race for eyeballs. any screen you are looking at. everyone is walking across the skin with her eyes glued to their screens. it is the new way to be. how did that impact decision-making for you, tiffany, and the network? we had hoped to have the hulu executive producers here because they are behind the first all latino cast show on television, broadly speaking, including hulu. i'm here is about how new media and the changes that you are saying and spaces like netflix and hulu are impacting the kinds of decisions and the future of a place like cbs television? >> for cbs, it is really that we feel that television roles, obviously. being the number one, most network, absolutely, it feels that television is still very much significant. i feel that utilizing all of the platforms with a watch that traditionally in your living room, kitchen, bedroom, wherever that might be, or on your television, it is still the same in that sense.
it has also brought in so much. 15-16 years ago, there were only three networks. now you cannot even go through all of these cable stations and an hour. i think that anyone also that has a phone can be a content creator. everyone has that voice. i think that that is important also when we are talking about images, representation, all of that really truly matters. and so you want to make sure that that is how it goes, as well. >> let me ask a follow-up question. you focus on diversity. the shows that we watch on television need to reflect the faces that we see when we are out on the street. >> we try hard. >> an uphill battle. >> i'm fighting the good fight. >> and we know that impacts it for sure. i'm cares about how, whether a show like "master of none" or so many others that are out there, in starring roles of people of color, whether that is helping
your job at the network to diversify the shows on-screen? >> absolutely, of course. you cannot say the word empire without everyone and every network saying that they want empire on their schedule. of course. i think that any of those shows, but again, a lot of times, when i say people have to create their own, where it is. sometimes they do and a less traditional space, but also that is why it is important for myself and the people that are in these rules, making sure that we give a voice to the voiceless. making sure we assess questions where we look at a casting list. does this really look like our america? does this really reflect what someone would particularly say? is this accurate?
when they came in, there were 30 men. and i would say 29 were white men. and i said what about what if we did an asian-american female. the casting director said what is she talking about? they are white guys. we are not thinking that way. the captain of the fire department san francisco was a nation american female. if we saw more of those images it becomes normal. if we saw more muslims in particular roles where it was not so scary typical, it becomes normal. that is why master of none helps, it helps tremendously.
i've been sending e-mails, look at the great press that the l.a. times issuing about the show or whatever it is, so it definitely helps, the more that we can see that this is the new normal. >> thank you. >> megan i want to turn back to you. we watched cnn and msnbc go into the apartment of the suspects in san bernardino. there are all kinds of ethical questions involved there. i noticed that this morning on the front page of the l.a. times that photos from the inside of the apartment were splashed across the cover. >> i'll clarify a couple of
things. this is something we took sometime yesterday. we did have reporters who were in the apartment. we did not immediately use that material because we wanted to ss sort of what had happened. the investigation -- that scene had actually been cleared by law enforcement, said they were not going into an active scene. it was boarded up because the windows had been shattered in the course of the search of the home. the landlord later came out and said, this has been cleared. in their purview, as the property owner to allow people into the property, and so ultimately, we decided to show images from inside the apartment because i think there was a new site to try and understand, was a normalcy in these people's lives? what we did not do, which i think the network said it didn't already apologize for, is go in there with a live feed and do things like holdup the mother's drivers license, which had a lot of information about her on it. and photos of other people who may have had no connection to anything other than their photo
was in the house. i feel like, it's a problem that in life situations, tv has had to grapple with for years. which is, you are in that moment, and you are not taking time to sort of ss the value of it. you can hear some of the anchors sort of say, hold on, don't get in that close. hold on a minute. i do think it was sort of a moment. i think probably a lot of journalists -- journalism organizations are considering, how is the teaching moment? it's funny because we are not in the exact situation is be live on air and talking, because our vehicle for being life is actually written and visual in a way that archives. i think if you went back and watched most like news broadcasts in a huge new situations, all kinds of errors
get made in all kinds of things are said that in that moment seem true. they were three shooters. no their work. lots of speculation. when you are writing on the internet, it is still there. it does not go away unless you are erasing things you make mistakes on. i think the act of having to write it down makes our organization maybe a little more cautious because you realize it is going to stay out there. >> thank you for that. i want to connected to this question in the sense that when we see media or politicians or others who make decisions that we agree with or disagree with, in this case, yesterday in response to this, i cannot member what the #campaign was, but it is something like my muslim apartment or something along those lines that was basically a sendup or a caricature station -- characterization of what was taking place. how is social media platform and
a way to hold all kinds of media or even public officials accountable? and i know that you have been a force behind some social -- #campaign for good. can you add to this? this year, a lot of muslims on social media, who had been making points on social media, but they had not been moving the needle very much, realize that there was a lot of traction and #campaign. why is that? because they elevate the discourse to a much more cultural level. it was not just about pointing out inconsistencies or the facts or things like that, it was about telling a story in a #. so when you do #my muslim apartment, what you are doing is telling the story of ordinary lives, your neighbors, we have cats and dogs like you do.
we have sporting equipment. it was a very humanizing thing. it was driven by that need to seem human in a social media sphere where everybody was focusing on this aspect. and nobody was focusing on the outer circle. the brother that is a navy veteran. the people in the community who had grown up in that community and worked in that same center. all of these different things. it was a very intelligent way to go about that. we did this with #muslim id, with donald trump, and we were all putting out, here is i served in the armed forces forces. i put up on with my diplomatic passport. i represent this country overseas, here is my muslim id. we are trying to model by example here, creative ways to respond that are not grievance
driven. they are not depressing. there actually uplifting and inspirational. the more that we can respond in that way, it is not just about engaging with the media, but also the public. the thing about social media is you cannot segment your audience in ways that other traditional media can. every audience is looking at you at exactly the same time, sue have to tailor in a way that everybody gets the intended message and nobody gets misdirected. >> thank you. i want to start with our first audience question. and again i want to go back and forth. lisa may your questions. we will incorporate them into the conversation. for viewers on the link, please do the same. the first question we have is, it seems the world we live in favors and immediacy and shock value, what can be done to change the way that we communicate the messages of peace and respect, press releases are great, but flash mobs might reach a greater audience just as an example? >> this is the great dilemma of
the time that we are in. to be able to react quickly and to get something out there, it is not a skill that everybody has. people have to learn how to be nuanced quickly. people always ask me, how do get good on twitter? you just practice. you practice tweeting and you practice figuring out what gains traction with people. it just tastes rectus. i do encourage everyone, i encourage people to get on twitter. not just because you want to get followers and things like that, but because it is a great way to convince your thoughts. if you're on the stage, if you can speak and we, people will then take it and send it out. it is more than 100 people. it is thousands of people. people should just embrace this as a training mechanism.
as decision-makers who drive, curate, and disseminate content for mass consumption, what would you recommend to the american muslim community by way of getting involved in shaping the message and inevitable bias that exists in today's world? >> for me, at cbs, one of the most -- i think that when we work together mostly is with our youth. internships. i cannot tell you how may times -- once we hire someone, nine times out of 10, it is someone that we have been more familiar with. i would say for anyone that is within their college career, apply for internships. that accessibility, being able to become more familiar with -- i have my current intern right now, who is a sikh. and from the sikh community. i think it is been so wonderful not only from -- for him himself, who hopes to one day be a director, but also all of the
employees in my hallway who see him every day and they are exposed to someone different. i would really say that how do we change the narrative, or how can we become more a part of the conversation or have a seat at that table. for me, personally, it would be internships. getting into the system, getting into the door and making sure that your voice is heard. that is the one thing that we can all utilize, whether it is on twitter or in print journalism, but it is making sure that you do have a voice and have people really get to know you and not assume that they know you because of what we can see out here. >> i would say along the same lines, being active in fields and careers that have the influence to shape storylines is important. and it's not about -- i think the fact that like in our newsroom we have a number of people who are muslim practicing, that influences your daily experience.
also, as a resource and something happens, to talk to them. one of our photographers lives in san bernardino and arizona -- and has been in that community for years, and when this happens, he was already out there. and also some you can just talk to. you can say, how's the community feeling about this? what can you tell us about this family? what details about being a muslim in this zone at? that's all really important to contextualize and understand what happens beyond just dropping in from the city of los angeles and trying to sort it out.
>> i do want people to take a step back and think about the way things were with respect to the muslim community in the days after 9/11 compared to today. back then, i would hear people talking about us as if we were -- in a very anthropological way. like we were animals in a zoo. the nobody could interact with us. now today when i can on the tv, i see familiar faces. i see talented people who are -- there are people in this room resting on tv. for muslims were part of the conversation. i get contacted by reporters who are muslims themselves. i see op-ed's been written by people who started out as bloggers and became pundits. if you add onto that, muslims are increasingly active in hollywood. also in the industry of -- great industries. we have come a long, long way. it has moved the needle and tremendous ways. even when you look at the new media space. look at the rising youtube stars. look at people who are out there part of this conversations. we're there. we have the mechanism to keep it moving. we have just started.
>> thank you. i want to shift back to television. we had a huge advance this year at the emmys when regina king won an emmy for portraying a muslim character. who was herself a hijab-wearing character. in a positive role. that i think was a huge shock. for many of us within our community, to see that kind of role exist out there, and then this father also shows like "quantico", that feature muslim characters and more and more roles. what do you think is -- where are the possibilities for better portrayal on television and in film of muslim characters, because this is one of the places, the most common grievances, if you will, or criticisms of hollywood is the way that we are reduced to such a caricature? >> the possibilities i definitely think they are endless right now. because there are so many more people that are writing. before and after it can be active, someone has to write it. that's i when i was talking to internships and informational interviews, it is so important to make sure that that voice where those craters are created, that can be seen as four
dimensional people, as human beings. that half-life. that am cats and dogs. that eat pizza. i think that the more were able to see that, the possibilities are absolutely endless. we had a event with all of our casting directors and we had a real talk about when does diversity come into play? and you cannot make whatever makes them an diverse supersede their character. you understand? in the sense of, not i need someone who is going to be the doctor or the victim or whatever it might be, don't let, i think i need somebody to fill in just
for racial purposes. one of the things that i say so often, that i cannot -- i will say this until the day i die. diversity does not mean black. that is one thing that -- we will be in a room a lot and you will say we can cast a black eye or the black girl, i think were done. were done for the week. were good. we did it. our job is done. diversity, in its true sense, means more than one. let's make sure that we are really looking for, what does this look like? how can this role be? we are doctors, lawyers, teachers, firefighters. there is so much more. again, we gave this book called "the hidden brain", which i consider my bible. we gave it to every casting director. casting directors, there is no casting director school.
it is not the doctrine you go to medical school and hopefully know how to operate. casting directors, you are taking your environment, particular you are a raise, and you're taking all of those things and they definitely play a role in how you see television characters. and so i think that one of the things i've been so proud of his after they read the book, it was like oh, ok. i see that anyone can play this role. i think the possibilities absolutely are endless. regina king when he that ma, we all celebrated that day. because we want to see her of that. not saying that we always have to be good. we all know. but, when do we reach parity? we have been this, a long downtime. >> in terms of diversity, it is not just diversity for diversity sake. it is what the public wants, and if anyone does not believe that, take the top 30 used to start -- top 30 youtube stars and look at how diverse they are compared to what you would generally expect.
>> belief behind a mercy for diversity sake either. it will say, does the most qualified -- >> that's a people want. >> look at the numbers people -- numbers. it is a smart business imperative. people are living so much money on the table it is ridiculous. it's not just those, let's there and we are done. check the box and we are good. it is not that. as someone in my role, do i want the best actor to get the role? we always hear that one. we did see diverse clients, but we had to go with the best actor. well, are we making sure that we are really wide enough, did you really look hard? look harder. do better and be smarter. >> so, let me ask a follow-up question related to hollywood and television. #campaigns like the takedown campaign of tyrants. you name the hollywood project with the stereotypes in it.
to help humanize undiversified kind of roles that are out there. there are some who say, that we should try to get the shows off of the air before they could even start. others say we should engage to make them better. from your perspective, when communities raise issues particularly on social media and other platforms, with their concerns about whether it shows information or shows that are on the air, what is effective, what is not? what do you hear and how does that work and how can we be affected consumers? >> being able to properly and effectively communicate. that's the first thing. whenever there's been a particular storyline that i am not very comfortable with, i'm going to make sure that i reach out to impact or the naacp or that particular community that i might feel there might be some sensitivity and have a conversation.
then you go back to writers, directors, producers and really express what is being sold -- told, excuse me on social media. why is there a concern? what is the issue? nine times out of 10 when you actually talk to someone and effectively communicate, you can get the message clear. where does is just like, are we doing this for sensationalism? to perpetuate the stereotype that we have seen over and over and over again? and the audience does not want that. that is the other thing, they will smell authenticity very quickly. >> do you want to weigh in on this in terms of how social media campaign can impact portrayals or how community members can leverage or utilize those outlets to make their voices heard in an effective way? >> there are effective and ineffective ones. when you are trying to create a conversation where you are collectively trying to make something better, i think you can achieve something. often, there are campaigns that are just confrontational.
i want complete victory in the way they see it and they want to shut down from the completely. if people are trying to do a show and it has some kind of intersection with an identity that you relate with -- if you shut it down, you reduce the chances of something like that ever being done again because they will say it is not my time. but, you were with them, even if it is not perfect, and it looks like it works and gets out there, then you increase the appetite, people have to look at the long-term. not all social media campaigns -- i tend to favor the ones that are conversational, aspirational, funny and that touch people's hearts. those of the campaigns like to see go forward. i generally think that the ones that -- the harsh ones are for strong circumstances. you simply do want to get someone to shut up. >> thank you.
how do we ensure accurate and honest reporting and journalism in the new era of journalism. >> i think as consumers of news you have to judge your sources. is, maybewhat happens more than used to happen, you self identify with the community that you agree with. you can even see this on facebook. where people on facebook they don't really think a lot like i do and that i have that decision to make about whether i see their feeds or not. sometimes you get upset because they have a different opinion. but i think this is a window into a part of the country that i'm not always exposed to so maybe it is good for me to hear that.
you have to be smart to news consumer and decide whether you think the source is objective. that that is where there are a lot of citizen journalists. journalism is a professional career. i have spent a lot of time learning how to report. if somebody says to me that something is true, i do not take their word for it. i check it with someone else. there isere i think value in the legacy news organizations. use your common sense. because you want to fit in the worldview does not make it true. consider the source. you may be sharing bad information because it appeals
to you. because they're used to be a few sources and now there are many. we have to be educated consumers of information. >> the same people that look at you and say i don't trust that journalist, but i heard a rumor -- is why we need to have a collective conversation about how to properly manage the responsibility we all have. >> to piggyback off of a point you just made the audience said people tend to connect mainly with like-minded individuals or
groups. , is there hopend for building bridges and expanding exposure to different ideas online? hadley barrett do that? >> i think some of these -- black lives matter or other campaigns, i'm even thinking recently about the backlash to snl for having donald trump on. people are pointing out that he said a lot of different things that probably offend a lot of different communities, but in particular the fact that snl who is been around for 40 something years, has managed to have two or three latino cast members ever. nobody else is funny, i guess? that is a consciousness raising of saying, you will have donald trump on, he said all of this stuff, demonstrably not true. this is an organization and a show that has been on for decades that is barely managed to diversify beyond black and white people. to me, that is a way to sort of cut across. even if you left donald trump, i
think that backspace question about why snl has failed to find anyone other than white or african-american people to be on their show, is something that i think you would often think, will that is actually a pretty good question. this a country where latinos make up a significant part of the population and are incredibly influential. so, how is that? >> will never get very far if we segment ourselves so much that we do not understand this problem. here we are, as muslims trying to tell people that they need to let us into their circles, but we will segment ourselves out. we have to make ourselves uncomfortable. i have plenty of conservative friends who are my friends on facebook and everything i post, my muslim friends see it and my
conservative friends and liberal friends see it. i try to manage that conversation. just last week, i posted something that hinted at where i stand on gun control. people on my wall were having this very interesting conversation from all different sides. but, i was trained also elevated to another place. where can we find common ground? this is where the beauty of social media comes out, when you have those diverse conversations. but if it's just as the chamber, that is when conspiracy theories happen. and destabilizing stuff happens. >> thank you. >> i study communications and journalism and learned a lot about agenda setting. it used to be that traditional media, legacy media, had the greatest role in agenda setting within society. it was more of the traditional norm. in this day and age, with hashtag campaigns and social media, how much of that is changing who is setting the agenda in terms of what media covers? i think specifically about the
power of hashtag campaigns this year, like the i stand with ahmed campaign about the texas teenage clockmaker. would that have been on the national media radar? would it have made this kid famous and made the situation in infamous had it not been for social media? to what degree do you each feel that social media -- there is a trickle up that may be happening from your viewers or your readers? >> i think this is no question that -- sometimes their campaigns are people reacting to an event. people who misspelled san bernardino for example. i think that, to me it is interesting because i used to try to read a lot of the ethnic media. like newspapers, watch bt news at night because it was really like seeing a different america.
in these sort of segmented communities, what was being covered there was very different on a nightly basis than what you would see on the national news. i think, in a way, the value of social media for mainstream journalists, a lot of that conversation, i think, is bubbling up in a way that is in front of you if you are following the right people, active people. twitter is overwhelming. i remember the morning of the fifa arrest, i had one channel that was just fifa. i think that in the sense of exposing more people to different viewpoints, i think it is actually quite interesting and certainly has -- part of our morning conversation -- we talk about some of the major news events overnight. then, at the end, one of the things they always ask to our reader and engagement and social media team is what have we not talk about that you are seeing in the conversation locally?
there's always something. it is driven by social media. it is driven by trends in social media. not every day we cover that. a lot of the times we do look into it. we find stories that were not have been seen otherwise. it can be quite influential. but, i think it is most influential when it is authentic. i think when it feels canned or it feels like a campaign -- i think with the my muslim id and felt very authentic that people were responding to what was said in a way that felt incredibly real. i think that that becomes newsworthy. >> i think it terms of -- people say they want to launch campaigns, but unless you're paying for promoted tweets, a campaign is not going to go anywhere unless people organically attach themselves to it.
it is meritocratist in that manner. going back to the original point, i think one of the biggest challenges of our time is trying to figure out how to manage the information overload that we all get. i would love to dive into every single one of these conversations and really try to get where everyone is coming from, but we are talking about thousands if not millions of conversations and millions of points of view. i still don't know how to process that. that is why the reasons that we do retreat into ourselves. it is overwhelming. this is why there is a role for professionals. to help navigate that. because, i think that a lot of people are struggling with this. in every community, that is why our society is getting so polarized, because i think we just cannot take the overload. >> i agree with all that. i want to get to more questions.
>> there is a question here about what it means to be a reporter now in the sense that we have seen reporters get suspended or fired for sharing their personal opinions on world events or for sharing personal views on hot button issues. in this day and age, where is that line for reporters? whether it is specifically at the l.a. times on a broader sphere and what response ability -- what responsibility do they have and what rights do they have? >> that's a really fascinating question because it is something -- in my role, i run the homepage of the website at the l.a. times. but i started off as a traditional print reporter. i have learned a lot about data reporting. so, i think reporters in general have to be much more jack of all trades than they were ever. i know quite a bit of html and things that used to be written down on. if you're are good at writing, it's a bonus. i have to be in greatly careful about what i say.
i don't share generally personal opinions. i think that it is important not to because even if i have a personal opinion, a strong one, i feel like i could still go and cover -- i cover the presidential campaign in 2000. this is why traveled with. i tried with george bush, al gore, i spent six months of my life with dick cheney. and i also spent right a bit of time in a van with ralph nader. i covered all of those people. i think fairly because whatever my personal feelings are about politics, i think that i could bring in objectivity to it. i think if i was out there saying, my personal feelings, then that takes away from my ability to be seen as someone who is fair. you get called out on it. i joked about something was on facebook and three people were like, you're an editor at the l.a. times you should not be saying that. i said i'm sorry, also in my sense of humor now, too.
to be fair, in my flash of anger, i thought, they have a point. everything is public. the idea that there is a private facebook channel or even if you only allowed authorized people to follow your twitter, that woman got fired for the jokes about ebola or was it ebola? aids in africa. she was an idiot. really. i would say nothing on social media with the expectation that it would not eventually get out. the sony hack taught a lot of us that even what you say your e-mail is potentially public. i think it is challenging. you used to just have conversations. people have to account what they said. you have to be a lot more careful. i think you should be and usually more thoughtful about how you process your personal feelings and how you portray what is happening in reality. >> thank you. >> one of the things with that, we are in section over sharing population in the sense that i'm
going to share that i love this water and here's a picture of what i ate and here are the shoes i just rot at the mall which are fabulous and i'm going to do this. i always say, when we always say where we are, some of the go around your house. -- someone could go and rob your house. you are telling every step of your life. stop it. the over sharing is unbelievable. i think that a lot of times -- i will always tell someone when they say that they are sorry for what they said, i say no you are sorry for what you got caught. if you are in doubt and think you should tweet it or write it, tell a friend. physically, not with a microphone on. >> exactly. there you go. last question for you. considering you are the founder of the labs, tell us about what they are all about and what you hope to do with it and the audience question is a bit for that, what type of muslim focus startup diesel the market is ready for?
>> the whole idea came about because i had spent 10-15 years in what is called the digital islamic economy. i saw vast markets, liberal market, 500 million muslims between the ages of 18-25 that are upwardly mobile, culturally more alike with each other than like their parents generation. they care about their identity and want to spend on it. very few people actually cater to that market. what i did was try to bring in promising startups that i thought could fit a couple of models. by muslims for everybody, meaning that you create and tap into islamic heritage and values and create products with universal appeal. that can transmit that to the masses. i'm a founding board member of
saphon rogue, if anyone has heard of it. 2% of their market is muslims and the vast majority is everyone else. part of that is how do you define halall in a way that is universally acceptable? we are trained to bring in companies that do that. the other thing we're trying to do is create innovation by doing hackathons by bringing people together for a couple of days from different backgrounds to solve a specific challenge. doing it in the muslim communities with muslim identity and life. we have done these around the world and we will start to do them in america. we did one in abu dhabi. we are doing when it's look on valley. we are doing one in silicon valley. we look to future ones on cultivating muslim storytellers. we want to try to see the environment. what we found is that it is not
about skill or talent, but confidence. it is about feeling that you can do it. that is the number one barrier for most people. we realize that once again people into the situation and we live stream their result and we find the winners of making a developed. they could do amazing things. we are hoping in the next couple of years to start spinning out companies and ideas and initiatives. the first couple of apps come out early next year. that show that there is a lot of talent in this group of people. we have a lot to give the world. i want to show that muslims are not just a source of problems, but of solutions. >> thank you. so, i want to ask a closing question for everyone. it has two prongs, the first is, considering new media now, what do each if you think we have to look forward to a few years from now. what is your prediction of what will impact your industry or arena in the years to come? timedly, we spend a lot of
talking about points of darkness. i am hoping that we can end with the point of light. what is the point of light you see that gives you hope for how to transition legacy media to new media and be a force for good? what is your prediction for the future and what is a bright spot that you want to give attention to? >> productions for the future, there are so many innovative idea thinkers out there that we haven't even scratched the surface of what we will see socially. there are people who are in these institutions where coding is becoming available. i think we will see the next step chadha next twitter. there will be multiple generations of that stop that will only enhance television viewing for us because
television isn't going anywhere. people keep saying that tv is dead but they are watching still. that is different going to expand it. i work in an industry were all i see is light and opportunity. one of the things that i say tremendously is i want to continue to provide access because before anyone can do it any that access and exposure and opportunitymeone an and when someone says this to you, say yes to someone else. love to say, each one teach one. let's all get to know each other now and that will be my life. -- youink you will see already are rapidly these long time whether it is the l.a. times of the washington post
these names in american journalism that make a much more substantial pivot to digital news in a way that is sustainable. so grappling with these dual operations. what is in real-time or online which for a long time was seen as lesser even though it is informing more people than what falls in your driveway in the morning. last week with san bernardino. the quality of what we were producing close to real-time was equal or better than what we were able to publish in this limited number of pages. i think that is significant for american journalism because professional journalism does matter it is very important. having these organizations make that change in a way that is sustainable is crucial to continuing forward.
think new media is exciting. used to be able to put something on a piece of paper and print a photograph or a flat graphic and that was all you could do. the reason why i moved into visual is because it was so exciting. we could create these databases that lived on that you can explore on your own and understand the subject matter. video is incredibly interesting and existed for a long time outside of print newspapers. we went out and talk to people in the muslim community and interestingly, we published it a few minutes before everything started happening in san bernardino. but to explain to people that this isn't scary. how people interpret it in a way that has something like 3
million views on facebook. that's reaching an audience in the printed l.a. times you couldn't have. even our coverage of the syrian refugee crisis which goes beyond the moment it would have appeared on the front page of the paper and is still accessible to anyone looking for it. i see a lot of excitement and opportunity to really reach more communities and tell stories and ways -- i love writing but i am more nuanced to go beyond not just that medium. >> i know this will be hard for a lot of people to believe given the events of this week but but given the success we have had since 9/11 and the immense amount of talent, muslim talent in the pipeline and most important in the creative fields and given the resilience that
america has shown in the face of what is happening. if you ignore that hype in the real world, i would like to think we're at the worst of it in that five years from now we will be much more integrated much more accepted and much more like neighbors and we are today. that, the amount of impact of the social spear. talented muslims asked pressing themselves haven't even scratched the surface of what we will see in five to 10 years. >> thank you and please give our palace surrounded applause. >> next, the british youth parliament on public transportation. after that a townhall meeting on race relations in the united states. in a house hearing on how new technology will affect the cars
of the future. >> tomorrow, bill clinton makes his first campaign trip for hillary clinton in 2016. he is in new hampshire for a series of grassroots organizing meetings. he will talk about how hillary clinton will make a difference. live coverage at 5:15 et on c-span. >> monday night on the communicators, consumer technology association president gary shapiro on the major technology issues that he expects in 2016 and why the da changed its name to the consumer technology association. he is joined by tony rahm. over 2.4 million net square feet of exhibit space. it will be spectacular.
more innovation, more different categories than ever before. it is the future. it is a show where we are solving problems for the world. it is about health care and transportation. clean food, clean water and greater food production. . >> monday night at 8:00 p.m. et on the communicators. has your best access to congress in 2016. the house and senate will reconvene january 4 to mark the second section of the 114th congress. on tuesday, the house is back from legislative work with paul ryan as speaker of the house. atmonday, the senate returns 2:00 p.m. et. be sure to follow craig kaplan