Who’s a Journalist Now?

Ray Hanania Keynote Speech

From mainstream to multimedia, Ray Hanania works “both sides of the wall”

Growing up on the Southside of Chicago prepared journalist Ray Hanania to wear many labels. His schoolyard detractors wouldn’t take “I’m American” for an answer. So, Hanania sought out his father’s advice.

“Well, geesh, you know, don’t tell them your Palestinian. Tell ‘em you’re Syrian or Lebanese,” said his father. Imagine a time when it was okay to be Syrian or Lebanese, says Hanania.

Hanania returned to school, fearful of being beat up by taunting classmates, and offered the bullies this answer:

“Well, my dad said I’m cereal. But I think my mother is lesbian. I don’t know.”

Closing out this year’s Making Media Connections 2010, Hanania admitted he’s technically not a journalist, but he is “the face of the future.” As an award-winning freelance journalist who writes for 18 blogs, pens a column for several Arab news outlets, hosts a radio show, does comedy, and serves as the spokesperson for Cicero, Hanania said he has no desire to go back to working in mainstream media. Read the rest of this entry »

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