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Alan Knight (centre) with Professor Amin Saikal (left) and Ali Abusalem (right)

Dr Alan Knight is Chair of Journalism and Media Studies at Central Queensland University and President of CQU's Academic Board. Edward Said influenced Dr Knight's Phd thesis, which examined how Australian foreign correspondents selectively reported Asia. Together with Dr Yoshiko Nakano, the Professor authored Reporting Hong Kong: How the foreign press covered the handover (London: Curzon Press, 1999). He also authored Reporting the Orient : Australian correspondents in Cambodia (Chicago: Xlibris 2001).

Dr Knight is a former journalist employed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Associated Press and Radio Television Hong Kong. He was appointed an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Asian Studies at Hong Kong University in 1994. His specialist areas of research include foreign correspondence, international news, radical media and eJournalism.

Orientalism and Journalism

Edward Said, to the last, was an intellectual who believed that all human beings are entitled to expect decent standards of freedom and justice from world powers. He said that "deliberate violations of these standards" needed to be testified and fought courageously.

Edward Said became the most articulate international spokesman for the Palestinian cause. He was a formidable academic; the author of 17 books, published in 19 languages, was on the Board of twenty journals and had lectured at more than two hundred universities. He was Professor of Literature at Columbia University, but had also been a distinguished visiting Professor at Harvard, Yale, John Hopkins and Toronto universities.

In my own research on the work of foreign correspondents, Said helped me understand why so much international news was misreported, slanted or otherwise ignored by journalists who thought they were telling the truth. Indeed, Edward Said's arguments in Orientalism, suggested that Western journalists' "truth" about Asia might merely be representations founded in someone else's fact, fiction and ultimately fantasy:

Orientalism helped demolish Western mythologies and in doing so, created Said's international reputation as a scholar. His intellectualism was interwoven with his activism.

Alan Knight

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Editor

Professor Alan Knight, Central Queensland University

Advisory Panel

Dr Yoshiko Nakano, Hong Kong University

Elliott S. Parker, Central Michigan University, USA

Dr Philip Robertson, Central Queensland University

Jim Tully, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Dr Stephen Stockwell, Griffith University

Philip Cass, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

Dr Steve Quinn, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

     

Ejournalist is published by ejournalism.au.com, Faculty of Informatics and Communication, Central Queensland University