[Air-L] Credentials

Dr. Rasha Abdulla rasha at aucegypt.edu
Wed Aug 19 05:38:47 PDT 2009

Ok, I can't resist:) One (hopefully final) reply on my part. This is
actually a message that I've written privately to a list member in reply to
their private message, but I think it might add some value. I want to stress
on two things though: 1) I never said I wanted titles to be a requirement,
it was simply a request for people to identify themselves more; and 2) I
never claimed academics (or those with Ph.D.s or whoever) are necessarily
better, or more credible, or more knowledgeable than others. As I'm sure you
know, people will be more credible depending on their relevance to the
matter in question. It was simply that relevance that I requested them to
make clear. And I do not think that getting text book recommendations or
advice on how to code content analysis is the same as talking to a stranger
on a bus, although of course all information should be judged critically.
Here's the message. And again thank you all for your responses, public and
private. And special thanks to those who did include some kind of
affiliation. To me, it adds more value and context to the message, and I
still don't think it hurts anyone (unless people are bent on taking it in a
negative sense).

Thank you for your email. I have to admit that perhaps the title I put on my
message in a haste (credentials) was perhaps not conducive to the nature of
my message. I actually didn't mean it in that sense. All I meant was I
wanted to know if the person writing me is an academic (and if so, roughly
with how much experience), professional, average reader who happens to be on
the list, or sales person. And I know of course the title line doesn't
necessarily provide that image or any image at all, but still, it's better
than getting a sleuth of messages advising me on statistical matters (which
I utterly appreciate) with only a first name signature (and it could be my
ignorance that I don't know that first name, but still the result is the
same). Nowhere have I mentioned anything to indicate that I value one
category (academics, for example) over another, indeed in many instances a
professional hacker will be a lot more credible to me than a professor who
lectures about hacking, but I simply believe I have the right to know which
is which, to know a little about who's talking to me about things that
matter. That's all!

Thanks again for your interest and for taking the time to reply.

All the best.
Rasha A. Abdulla, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Journalism and Mass Communication
The American University in Cairo

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