2015 Tailwind Scholarship Recipients
We recognize and congratulate these bright young Muslim students.
Madiha Waris Qureshi
Future Journalist. Looking to Make a Difference.
Name Madiha Waris Qureshi
School American University
Major Interactive Journalism
“By obtaining a Masters in Interactive Journalism at American University, my goal is to work toward a career as an international development reporter, with a focus on my home country, Pakistan and its most marginalized communities. I want to specifically highlight the indigenous communities most impacted by civil unrest, military action, and displacement in conflict zones such as Khyber Pakhtunkhua and Balochistan.
With my training, I want to capitalize upon the unprecedented opportunity for engagement with global audiences offered by digital media to highlight the complex human rights challenges facing these regions. My goal is to humanize the diverse Pakistani communities who lack a clear voice in media and have been reduced to symbols of conflict and terror, and tell stories that could change a skewed international narrative of Pakistan as a homogeneous society. By focusing on the many nuances in the obstacles faced by these groups as they deal with the horrors of displacement, war, social injustice and institutional neglect, I want to break down Pakistani stereotypes in global discourse.
I believe my chosen program at AU to be highly forward-thinking and in line with the modern face of journalism today. In tightly controlled societies like Pakistan, digital reporting has burst open as a potent source of information and conversation. Blogs, social media, online video, and other web-based tools have linked journalism much more closely with public service than ever before, becoming new indicators of speed in public reaction as well as state response. A new generation of journalists is challenging the status-quo and telling the truths eschewed by mainstream media – and it gives me tremendous motivation to create my own path in journalism.
In my current work in international development, advocates and human rights activists continuously challenge the status quo. They often take enormous risks in investing into change. I believe a good international development reporter follows the same route, highlighting facts that might be inconvenient truths for those in power, validating them with facts and data, and telling stories that inform, empower, and initiate action. In the next five to ten years, I see myself as a part of a vibrant community of such reporters, one to which I would bring a rich multicultural perspective and nine years of communications experience. Above all, I see myself using my training to give a voice to the voiceless – and to tell stories yet untold.”