Covering Islam: Telling Muslims’ Stories in Photos, Words, and Video

On April 11, 2013, Award-winning journalists and Nieman Foundation fellows Karim Ben Khelifa, Alexandra Garcia and Souad Mekhennet led a panel discussion on media coverage of Islam and presented a selection of video and photographs of their global coverage.

Karim Ben Khelifa

Karim Ben Khelifa

Karim Ben Khelifa (@kbenk) is a photojournalist and the co-founder and CEO of, a website designed to promote crowdfunded visual journalism. For the past 12 years, he has covered conflicts in the Middle East and Africa and other stories around the world. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Time, Le Monde and Stern. He has exhibited his photos on four continents and has won numerous photography awards including the 2004 Fujifilm Young Reporter Award. He also was selected for the 2000 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in the Netherlands. At Harvard, Ben Khelifa will conduct research on journalist-audience engagement, analyze the behavioral economics linked to crowdfunding and study new business models promoting the diversification of visual storytelling. He is the 2013 Carroll Binder Nieman Fellow. The Binder Fund honors 1916 Harvard graduate Carroll Binder, who expanded the Chicago Daily News Foreign Service, and his son, Carroll “Ted” Binder, a 1943 Harvard graduate.

Alexandra Garcia

Alexandra Garcia (@agarcia525) is a multimedia journalist for The Washington Post. She reports, shoots and edits video stories on topics ranging from health care and immigration to fashion and education. Awarded eight regional Emmy Awards, a national Edward R. Murrow Award and top honors in the National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism contest, she also was named 2011 “Video Editor of the Year” by the White House News Photographers Association. She has been a teaching assistant at National Geographic Photo Camps in Chad and Botswana and a judge for the Best of Photojournalism contest. Garcia will study how news organizations can create visual experiences that engage users and will explore interactive storytelling forms.

Souad Mekhennet

Souad Mekhennet (@smekhennet) is a German reporter and columnist of Turkish and Moroccan descent who works for The New York Times, Der Spiegel and ZDF (German television). Since 9/11, she has covered conflicts and terrorist groups in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Mekhennet helped report the “Inside the Jihad” series for the Times and together with her colleague Don van Natta, broke the story of Khaled el-Masri, a German-Lebanese man who had been kidnapped and sent via extraordinary rendition to Afghanistan. Mekhennet is also a columnist for the “Female Factor” series at the International Herald tribune, where she covers Muslim women in the world and women in the Islamic world. She previously reported for The Washington Post and is the co-author of two books about Islam and terrorism, which were published in Germany. Mekhennet will study how the uprisings in Arab countries in 2011 have influenced the long-term strategies of terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and how Shariah (Islamic law) deals with human rights, women and democracy. She is the 2013 Barry Bingham Jr. Nieman Fellow. Bingham, a 1956 Harvard graduate, was the editor and publisher of the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times.

This event was sponsored by the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

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