Media plays a crucial role in shaping public opinion and influencing societal perceptions. However, the coverage of Muslim people and communities has often been marred by stereotypes, biases, and misrepresentations. Nausheen Husain, an esteemed scholar and the newly appointed 2023-25 Lender Center for Social Justice Faculty Fellow, aims to delve into this critical issue. Her research explores the impact of media coverage on Muslim communities and individuals, shedding light on how journalism can inadvertently exacerbate complex situations and perpetuate misinformation.
Nausheen Husain is an assistant professor of magazine, news, and digital journalism in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Prior to joining the University, she worked as a data reporter and writer for the Chicago Tribune, where she focused on various aspects of the Muslim American experience. Her investigative reporting covered topics such as state surveillance of Muslim Americans, carceral units targeting Muslims, the 2017 “Muslim Ban,” refugee communities, and the government’s historical disinvestment in Chicago’s communities of color. Additionally, Husain contributed to visual journalism projects and played a role in building back-end infrastructure for election reporting.
The Lender Center for Social Justice Faculty Fellow is a prestigious position that has been bestowed upon Nausheen Husain. As the 2023-25 Faculty Fellow, she will lead research that examines media coverage of Muslim individuals and communities, with a particular focus on the impact of that coverage. The fellowship provides Husain with a platform to investigate how news reporting, both inadvertently and knowingly, influences everyday life and shapes perspectives about specific individuals and communities.
Her Aim for the Research
In this role, Husain will explore the complexities of media coverage surrounding Muslims, addressing issues such as stereotypes, biases, misinformation, and the potential exacerbation of complex situations. Through her research, she aims to challenge prevailing narratives and promote a deeper understanding of the experiences and contributions of Muslim individuals and communities. The Faculty Fellow position also presents opportunities for collaboration with students and engagement with various stakeholders, including journalists and media organizations, to foster responsible and ethical journalism practices.
The Centers Priotities
The Lender Center for Social Justice, overseen by Marcelle Haddix, the associate provost for strategic initiatives, is dedicated to promoting social justice and addressing complex societal issues. The center aims to facilitate research, dialogue, and community engagement to create positive change. By selecting Nausheen Husain as the Faculty Fellow, the center recognizes the importance of investigating media coverage’s impact on marginalized communities and seeks to provide a platform for meaningful research and student involvement.
Nausheen Husain’s selection as the 2023-25 Lender Center for Social Justice Faculty Fellow marks a significant step toward addressing the misrepresentations and biases prevalent in media coverage of Muslim communities. Her research endeavors to highlight the impact of such coverage and create awareness about the need for accurate and inclusive representations. By engaging with students, journalists, and the broader community, Professor Husain’s work presents opportunities for change and fosters a more equitable and empathetic society. As we move forward, it is essential to support endeavors like Professor Husain’s that strive to bridge the gap between media narratives and the realities of Muslim individuals and communities.