Lawrence Pintak said he accepted the deanship of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication after his time as a CBS news correspondent because he felt a special connection to the Murrow name.

Pintak earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from American University and a master’s and doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.

During the end of his time at American University, Pintak was a Washington D.C. correspondent and covered the 1976 presidential election for Associated Press radio. He then freelanced in South Africa from 1977-80, reporting on events, including the Rhodesian revolution and apartheid in South Africa.

He was a Middle East correspondent for CBS News from 1980-85. It was during this time, he said, that he formed a special bond with the Murrow name and legacy.

Pintak joined academia in 2003 as a visiting professor at Michigan University, and two years later, he became the director of the Kamal Adham Center at American University in Cairo.  At the time, it offered the only graduate journalism degree in the Arab world.

In 2009, he became the founding dean of the Murrow College, a position he called an incredible honor because he considers Edward R. Murrow to be the godfather of American journalism.

Today, Pintak studies U.S-Muslim relations, American policy dealing with the Islamic world, and journalism in the Middle East. He sees these studies as key to American understanding of the Muslim world and Muslim understanding of the American world.

In addition, he is the author of various works, including “The New Arab Journalist,” a book that is the first comprehensive examination of the revolution in Arab journalism.   He also is writing a book about Islam and American politics.

Bio authored by Ian Smay, Class of 2019


Ph.D., Islamic Studies (Univ. of Wales, Trinity Saint David)
M.Phil., Theology, Religion and Islamic Studies (Univ. of Wales, Trinity Saint David)
B.A., Communication, American University

Research Interests

America’s relationship with the Muslim world, the role of the media in shaping global perceptions and government policy, journalism in the Muslim world, journalism education in the developing world, and the responsibilities of reporters covering conflict and social injustice.

Biographical Information

Lawrence Pintak is a professor of communication and was the founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication (2009-2016). He is an award-winning veteran of four decades in journalism on four continents who now writes and lectures on America’s relationship with the Muslim world, the role of the media in shaping global perceptions and government policy, and the evolution of journalism education in the developing world.

He was named a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017 for his “extraordinary contributions to the profession.” He is a non-resident senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council and writes frequently for, the Daily Beast and other news outlets.

Prior to WSU, Pintak served as director of the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research at The American University in Cairo, where he founded the online journal Arab Media and Society.

A former CBS News Middle East correspondent, Pintak reported on the birth of modern suicide bombing, the Iran-Iraq War, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and a variety of other stories across the region. He covered the Indonesian revolution for ABC News and The San Francisco Chronicle and has contributed to many of the world’s leading news organizations.

Pintak has served as a Middle East and North Africa analyst for the Freedom House Freedom of the Press report; is on the advisory boards of the Centre for Excellence in Journalism in Karachi, Pakistan and the Media Majlis in Doha, Qatar; is a consultant to the U.S. State Department on Pakistani journalism; and has advised universities in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Georgia, and Pakistan, where he created the curriculum for the nation’s first government-approved MS in Journalism degree.

Courses taught

Global Campus, Spring 2018

COM475 Understanding the News

COM475 Terrorism, Islam & the Media


Islam for Journalists: A Primer on Covering Muslim Communities in the U.S. (Digital Newsbooks, Reynolds Journalism Institute, 2nd Edition, 2017)

The New Arab Journalist: Mission & Identity in a Time of Turmoil (I.B. Tauris, Feb. 2011)

Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam & the War of Ideas (Pluto Books/Univ. of Michigan Press, 2006)

Seeds of Hate: How America’s Flawed Middle East Policy Ignited the Jihad (Pluto Books (2003)

Beirut Outtakes: A TV Correspondent’s Portrait of America’s Encounter with Terror (Lexington Books, 1988)


The Arab Media Revolution. In Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders and Trends (4rd edition), Thomas McPhail, ed. (2014). Wiley-Blackwell (Revised chapters in each edition).

Arab Journalists. In The Global Journalist: Newspeople around the world (2nd edition), David H. Weaver and Wei Wu, eds. (2012).

Arab Media. In Public Sentinel: News Media and Governance Reform, Pippa Norris, ed. (2009). World Bank Publications.

Obama tra il Cairo e Washington DC. I blogger egiziani raccontano le elezioni Americane. In Un Hussein alla Casa Bianca. Donatella della Ratta and Augusto Valeriani, eds. Odoya Books (Rome 2009)

Journalist as Change Agent: Government repression, corporate feudalism and the mission of Arab journalism. In Middle East and the Media, Arneim Heinemann, ed. Saqi Books (2008).

The Communications Gap between America and the Muslim World. In Terrorism, Democracy, the West and the Muslim World, Abdul Rashid Moten, ed., Thompson Learning, (2007).

“Not Quite Kifaya: Satellite TV and Arab Democracy.” In New Media and Socio-Political Change in the Arab World; the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (2007).

Framing the Other: America & Islam since 9/11. In Muslims in the Media, John Richardson and Elizabeth Poole, eds., I.B. Taurus (2006).

“Rewriting the Rules of Journalism.” In Al Jazeera at Ten Years, Al-Jazeera Foundation (Doha 2006).

Research Articles

Pintak, Lawrence; Bowe, Brian J.; Nazir, Syed Javed. “Mediatization in Pakistan: Perceptions of Media Influence on a Fragile Democracy.” Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism. Online First, August 2016. ISI© impact factor: 1.273; 25/79 in Communication.

“Islam, Identity and Professional Values: A study of journalists in three Muslim-majority regions.” Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism. Vol. 15, No. 4, 2014. Journalism Studies division of ICA.

“Pakistani Journalism: At the Crossroads of Muslim Identity, National Priorities and Journalistic Culture.” Media, Culture & Society. Vol. 35, No. 5, July 2013. ISI© impact factor 1.092.

“The Mission of Indonesian Journalism: Balancing democracy, development and Islamic values.” International Journal Press/Politics (Vol. 16, No. 2, April 2011). ISI® impact factor 1.46.

“Border Guards of the ‘Imagined’ Watan: Arab Journalists and the New Arab Consciousness.” Middle East Journal (Vol. 63, No. 2; Spring 2009). ISI® impact factor 0.69.

“Inside the Arab Newsroom: Arab journalists evaluate themselves and the competition.” Journalism Studies (Vol. 10, No. 2, Apr. 2009). One of the most downloaded articles in 2009. ISI® impact factor 0.798. Affiliated with ICA and ECREA Journalism Studies Divisions.

“The Mission of Arab Journalism: Creating change in a time of turmoil.” International Journal Press/Politics (Vol. 13, No. 3, July 2008). ISI® impact factor 1.46.

“Satellite TV News and Arab Democracy,” Journalism Practice (Vol. 2 No. 1, Feb. 2008).

Policy Reports

The GEO TV Effect: Media & Policy in Pakistan. Briefing paper for the U.S. Department of State, July 2014.

Reporting for the Future: An Assessment of Pakistani Journalism Training and Education. Briefing paper for the U.S. Department of State, July 2013.

The Worldview of Pakistani Journalists. Briefing paper for the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy. Oct. 2012.

The Murrow Rural Information Initiative: Access, Digital Citizenship and the Obligations of the Washington State Information Sector. May 2012. Carnegie-Knight project on the Information Needs of Communities.

Media, Conflict and Political Change in the Muslim World. Report from the Pocantico Retreat. Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Nov. 2011

Select Arab Spring Analysis

“Breathing Room: Toward a new Arab media.” Columbia Journalism Review (cover story), with sidebar, “English Lesson: The moment has arrived for Al Jazeera English, except in the U.S.” May/June 2011.

“The Al Jazeera Revolution.”, Feb. 2, 2011.

“The Opportunity and Peril for the U.S. in Egypt’s Rebirth.” The Seattle Times, Feb. 4, 2011.

“The Arab Media Revolution Spreading Change.”, Jan. 29, 2011

Select Analysis (Other)

“Trump has U.S. Poised on Edge of a Mideast Abyss.” June 9, 2017.
“Nuclear Pakistan Sees the Saudi Game Against Qatar and Says, ‘No Thanks.’” June 6, 2017.

“The Trump Administration’s Islamophobic Holy Grail.” Feb. 22, 2017.

“An Idiot’s Guide to Islam in America: A memo to the president-elect about the people he fears.” Dec. 8, 2016.

“For Muslim Americans, Fear and Shock at a Trump Presidency: An Imperiled Minority Fears that Latent Demons of Intolerance Have Been Released into the Wild.” Nov. 10, 2016.

“Islamophobia After the Election.” The New Arab ( Oct. 27, 2016.

“The Spark that Lit the War on Terror:  The Ill-fated Intervention in Lebanon’s Civil War Fueled the Rise of Islamist Terrorism.” Sept. 30, 2016.

“Black & White and Trump All Over: The GOP Nominee is Not a Man Tempered to Understand – Let Alone Negotiate – the Complexities of the Middle East.” Sept. 1, 2016.

“Can Cartoons Save Pakistan’s Children from Jihad?” August 19, 2016.

“Not All Islamists are Out to Kill Us.” July 19, 2016.

“The Muslims are Coming! The Muslims are Coming! American Islamophobia is as old as Plymouth Rock. But we’ve never seen anything quite like this before.” June 14, 2016.

“Portland Is the Most Livable city in America – Except if you’re Muslim.” April 8, 2016.

“’The Rise of the American Taliban.’ Pakistan’s Elite on the Trump Phenomenon.” Feb. 4, 2016.

“A Chessboard Middle East: Russia’s Pawn is Syria.” The Seattle Times, Oct. 17, 2015,

“Money, Politics, Power Struggles: Pakistan’s media scandal has it all.” May 25, 2015.

“Who’s Killing Pakistan’s Educated Elite?” May 23, 2015.

“How Brian Williams, Bob Simon, Present a Parable of the Digital Age.” PBS MediaShift ( Feb. 13, 2015.

“We Are Not Charlie Hebdo.” The Spokesman-Review, Jan. 18, 2015.

“Media, Policy, and Conflict in Pakistan.” April 25, 2014.

“J-School Survival Tools.” Chronicle of Higher Education, Chronicle Review. Nov. 15, 2013.

“Al Jazeera America: Think NPR with pictures (and a little baggage).” Aug. 26, 2013.

“Inside the Indonesian Newsroom: The Good, the Bad, the Hopeful.” March 3, 2013.

“Ask Romney This: What Will You Do About the Middle East?” “Swing States” series on the U.S. presidential election. Oct. 10, 2012.

“Journalistic Firebombs in the Middle East.” Sept. 27, 2012.

“Washington State’s Rural Information Ghettos.” The Seattle Times, June 17, 2012.

“Indonesia Can Teach Egypt about Post-Revolution Generals and Politics.” The Seattle Times and the Egyptian Independent, March 24, 2012

“Ira Glass’s Casablanca Moment with Mike Daisey,”, March 20, 2012.

“Journalism Education in the Pakistani Borderlands,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 22, 2012.

Broadcast (2009-2016)

American Fault/Lines. Creator and host of a ten-part series of one-hour radio programs examining divisive issues in post-election America, airing on KXL Portland and online in the Spring 2017.

The Murrow Interview. Host of hour-long interview program taped on location in front of a live audience. Guests include leading national and international newsmakers, such as former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and former Nightline host Ted Koppel. Aired on Northwest Public Radio and Television, NW Cable News and other outlets. The program was created, in part, as a tool for development and to increase the College’s regional and national profile.