Front page of the former Arab American Times newspaperFront page of the former Arab American Times newspaper, 2009

The Arab American news media is slowly disappearing

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania headshot
راى حنانيا.
Ray Hanania

The organic ethnic Arab American news media is slowly but steadily vanishing. Racism, apathy, financial challenges and political activism have undermined the Arab American ethnic news media over the years.

The biggest challenge by far has by the rise of anti-Arab racism, coupled with the shift from an Arab identity to other identities being associated with the Arab community from being Islamic to the assimilation of the Arab community within the definition of a new label, MENA — Middle East and North Africa.

In a study conducted by NAAJA in 1999, there were more than 120 print publications, newspapers and magazines, plus a small handful of radio and cable TV stations.

That number dropped significantly by 50 immediately after Sept. 11, 2001 because of the wave of anti-Arab racism and discrimination. And it is continuing to drop as newspapers close because of racist pressures and backlash, especially on potential advertisers.

Front page of the former Arab American Times newspaper
Front page of the former Arab American Times newspaper, 2009


A NAAJA study conducted in 2007 showed there were only 79 publications remaining. CLICK HERE to view NAAJA PDF inventory list.


The most recent study by NAAJA so an even serious erosion of the organic ethnic American news media with only a handful of publications still being published, including the Arab American News newspaper in Dearborn, the Arab community’s ONLY weekly newspaper — all of the others are monthly with some publishing twice each month. There are. a few newspapers remaining in Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Florida.

The biggest Arab radio program is the U.S. Arab Radio Network broadcast Monday through Friday in Dearborn, Michigan on WNZK AM 690 radio.

We need to address this. NAAJA, a networking association fo independent journalists, freelancers and communications specialists, are hoping to change this and rebuild the Arab American news media.

Please join us.


By rayhananianaaja

Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian American author, radio talk show host, syndicated columnist and former Chicago City Hall reporter (1976 -92) who writes on mainstream U.S. politics for the Southwest News Newspaper group, and Middle East issues for the Arab News Newspaper as U.S. Special Correspondent and columnist. A former WLS AM Radio talk show host, Hanania hosts a live radio talk show every Wednesday on WNZK AM 690 in Detroit and WDMV AM 700 in Washington D.C. A Vietnam Era US Air Force veteran, Hanania was an early organizer for ADC in 1980, serving on the Chicago board and later National board. He is the recipient of the 2010 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award for column writing, was named Best Ethnic Columnist in America in November 2006 by the New America media, and is the recipient of four Lisagor Awards from the Chicago Headline Club. He is the author of several books, the humor book “I’m Glad I Look Like a Terrorist: Growing Up Arab In America” (1996), “Arabs of Chicagoland” (2005), and “Power PR: Ethnic Activists Guide to Strategic Communications” (2015). His professional website hub is After serving Active Duty in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War debating Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban on national U.S. TV in 1976 and served as the National President of the Palestinian American Congress in 1995. He wrote weekly Op-Ed columns for the Orlando Sentinel, Newsday in New York, the Houston Chronicle, the Jerusalem Post, Yedioth Ahronoth’s YNetNews, The Times of Israel, and Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun. His columns were syndicated by Creators Syndicate (2002-2012, 2015-2016). Hanania interviewed many leaders including former President Bill Clinton, Palestine President Yasser Arafat, Lebanese legislator Michel Aoun, and was the only Palestinian journalist to cover the “Peace to Prosperity” Conference held in Bahrain in 2019. After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Hanania launched a standup comedy performance using humor to help Americans better understand the Arab people and lampooning his unique marriage to his Jewish wife, Alison. In August 2002, Hanania was banned from a Chicago comedy stage by Jewish Comedian Jackie Mason, but went on to launch the Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour performing in Israel, Palestine, Dubai, London, Dublin, Toronto and dozens of American universities.

Related Post