10 ways you can support Muslim Media
What is one of the major killers of Muslim media?
It's those free copies we so easily pick up from the local mosque. While a number of publications are given out for free for the purpose of promotion, avoid taking this easy way out. Make a point to subscribe. This way, you will lend your support in a systematic way and you don't have to go hunting on the Masjid shelves for the latest copy of the newspaper or magazine. You'll get it right at home.
2. Share a subscription
What if a a newspaper or magazine's subscription rate is far beyond your means?
Then get two, three or more interested others and subscribe as a group, with everyone pooling their money. Then a system could be worked out where each subscriber gets to check out the latest copy for one week. The advantage of such a system, apart from saving money, could also be that the publication is more likely to be read, instead of stacked with older, unread copies, since there is a limited time each person has to read the latest issue.
3. Give feedback
What is the first reaction of many of us when we see something we dislike or like in our communities?
Usually, if we like it, nothing is said about it. If it's something we dislike, we tend to express our dislikes in a harsh, intolerant manner and distance ourselves from the person or project in question.
If we want to see Muslim media thrive, we cannot take this approach. The Islamic way is to give wise, gentle Nasiha (advice). In the case of a publication, there should be letters to the editor section. Write a simple letter and express your concerns (for tips on letter writing, please see http://www.soundvision.com).
4. Give out extra copies
How can you promote Muslim media if people have not been able to read or check them out themselves?
There are two ways you can do this. One is by giving out free, extra copies. Simply call the publication's office and ask if they have extra copies of old issues that they are willing to give away for promotional purposes. Then you can give these out to people who you feel would take an interest in reading and subscribing to the publication.
5. Use your mouth
What is one positive way of using your mouth (which tends to get most of us in trouble more often than not)?
It's by promoting the good. Spread the word about a publication to friends and family and encourage them to subscribe and donate.
6. Donate to this Muslim cause
When you think Sadaqa (charity), you think Masjid, right?
Well, why not give to more than your local Masjid? Why not devote a small amount, like even five dollars a week, to your favorite Halal publication? This way, you can support a good cause beyond just subscribing.
7. Encourage libraries and institutions to subscribe
Shouldn't Muslim institutions support Muslim publications?
While Muslims as individuals or families may not understand the importance of media, any mosque or Muslim institution with a library should include a range of Muslim publications. Encourage them to subscribe and give an extra donation if the publication does not already have a specific subscription rate for institutions.
8. Encourage Muslim businesses to advertise in them
How can Muslim businesses do Muslim publications' a favor and get something in return?
By advertising in Muslim newspapers and magazines. Advertising is one major way publications generate revenue. Encourage Muslims to help Muslims by having Muslim businesses pay for ads in Muslim publications.
9. Get non-Muslims on board
What's another you can help clear away stereotypes about Islam amongst non-Muslims and support Muslim media while you're at it?
By encouraging the Religious Studies departments of universities to subscribe, as well as institutions where interfaith dialogues take place. By encouraging their subscription to Muslim publications, you will add to their current literature on Islam, which is usually filled with Orientalist, mostly anti-Muslim material.
10. Write for them
Want to help Muslim media but don't have the money?
Then consider writing for them. There is still a lack of Muslims willing to write for the Muslim media, but the need for writers is still great. If you've got writing talent or are considering a career in journalism and communications, take advantage of this forum while benefiting a Muslim publication.
MUSLIM, ISLAM, & THE MEDIA:
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