Matt J. Duffy :: Thoughts on Journalism, Culture, and Global Communication

Thoughts On Journalism, Culture, and Global Communication
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Dr. Matt J. Duffy teaches journalism, media ethics and international communication law. His research focuses on journalism and media laws in the Middle East. Duffy's book "Media Laws of the United Arab Emirates" was published in 2014 by Wolters Kluwer. His academic work has been published in the Journal of Middle East Media, the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, and the Newspaper Research Journal. He received a Ph.D. in Public Communication from Georgia State University in the United States where he studied the use of unnamed sources in journalism. Duffy is board member of the Arab-United States Association for Communication Educators, an organization that aims to improve journalism in the Middle East. He teaches international communication law at Kennesaw State University.

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On the occasional need for polemic writing

posted on April 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I’ve always remembered a quote from Flannery O’Connor, the great author from the American South. O’Connor wrote interesting tales fused with themes of ethics and morality. Her characters often struggled with prickly issues of the Civil Rights era like prejudice, racism and the waning influence of religion. Often, her stories would take a dramatic twist at the end that would shock her audiences. In the short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” for instance, a genteel family on a road trip are murdered by nihilist criminals on the final page.

Her quote occurs to me whenever I read or see anything that people respond to with shock and disbelief. She told an interviewer once:

When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal ways of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock — to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.

I thought of her words again today when I read Mona Eltahawy’s article “Why do they hate us?” which details her perception of the mass mistreatment of Arab women.

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