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‘“Don’t be a gatekeeper”: Strategies for negotiating claims of authority among Muslims in media relations

Munnik, Michael ORCID: 2015. ‘“Don’t be a gatekeeper”: Strategies for negotiating claims of authority among Muslims in media relations. Presented at: Muslim Leadership in Britain (Muslims in Britain Research Network), Preston, 1 April 2015.

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Authority is one of the key markers by which journalists assess the usefulness of a particular source. Muslims who would position themselves as sources for journalists must square the decentralised nature of leadership in their faith tradition with practical demands for leaders who can “speak for” a constituency. Drawing on qualitative research among journalists and Muslim sources in Glasgow, I discuss in this paper how Muslims in positions of responsibility negotiate expectations of authority from journalists. Sources in these relationships are mindful not only of the media tendency towards representations of Muslims as a monolithic bloc but also of their co-religionists, who share the consequences of misrepresentation. Sources in this study describe a prior period of media relations in which one or two “gatekeepers” fulfilled the task of representing Muslims. This is contrasted with a varied and diffused set of Muslims who currently engage with the media. I identify strategies these sources use to articulate what they can and cannot offer journalists by way of authority, including explicit claims of limited representativeness and implicit tactics of acting as a conduit to an expanding array of credible sources.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 09:23

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