By Humairaa Mayet
It’s all about journalistic integrity and the quality of content… Muslim media now finds itself in a better position than ever before. – Farhad Omar
Tuesday’s #TributeToMuslimBroadcastersSA segment featured veteran broadcaster, Farhad Omar.
An entrepreneur and forward-thinker, Omar’s journey into the world of journalism and media began in 2003, where he was on the cutting-edge of new developments. Using his IT background to his advantage, Omar worked on multimedia projects centered around mobile phones; “ubiquitous” instruments which he saw much potential in.
Omar recalled the clips circulated between 2003 and 2008, remembering them being only 100 kilobytes in size. At present, even pictures and documents are much larger in size, yet back then clips that were only 100 kilobytes in size were sufficient to get the message across.
Media has changed significantly over the past 15 years. This is the “generation of instant gratification” and in the current age, media is free from regulation and monitoring, allowing for a spike in content production but also the spread of fake news.
Initially, he had thought that the television era had come to a close but soon realised that Muslim voices had to echo across all mediums and all bases had to be covered. He worked at ITV where, barring the backlash at the beginning, now caters to many generations, proffers alternative narratives, and has seen an increase in non-Muslim viewership.
Omar expressed his hope for cooperation among Muslim media houses which would essentially lead to the collective growth of the entire industry. He emphasised the importance of bringing discourses of understanding to the fore and staying away from discourses of disunity.
Aspiring journalists must not look for a “pat on the back”. Omar advised young journalists to put dedication and passion into their work, concisely articulate the Muslim narrative, and never give up.
The #TributeToMuslimBroadcastersSA segment on Salaamedia is an exclusive Ramadan broadcast on our platform, inspired by the life and times of the late Ebrahim Gangat who was well known for his broadcasting talent.
Watch the full interview here: