MDI News
Reporting from the Sahara on Dune Voices Website PDF Print

Published: 12 May 2015

Region: Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Mali, Libya

Dune_Voices_MauritaniaCan you imagine what a life might look alike in today’s Libya? Or how disabled women from Timbuktu manage to live with stigma following them on every step? Do the Jews in south-east Morocco feel they belong to the wider community or whether there is way to end slavery in some parts of Mauritania?

The answers to these questions and much more can be found on Dune Voices, a multimedia platform for unheard voices and communities in Mali, Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco and Libya. Articles and features produced and published on Dune Voices specialise in covering the topics of marginalised groups and minorities, vulnerable and forgotten by the mainstream media. They have been already republished on several other media outlets since the platform created by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) in 2014 has become a source of an accurate, independent and diverse reporting.

Seen by the King, but Invisible for the Media PDF Print

Published: 11 May 2015

Country: Morocco

Ouarzazate_2Once upon a time, there was a king. On a hot, sunny day he was walking on the streets of Ouarzazate, a southern Moroccan city nicknamed ‘the door of the desert’. The king spotted Hussein who was on his crutches. For Hussein, being disabled all his life meant a difficult life and an invisible one. So the king decided to give him a present: A car. He couldn’t drive, but at least he could rent it out as a taxi. Hussein was tricked into murky business with some taxi drivers, yet his story remained unheard, as disabled people in Morocco are mostly ignored by national mainstream media.

The story about Hussein and his royal car is not a tale, but a true story told by one of the civil society activists and citizen journalist in Ouarzazate, trained by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI). During the last visit to Morocco at the end of April 2015, the MDI team provided on-site consultancy and training for 15 activists and inspiring journalists. The focus was on a better usage of online platforms and social media in order to make people like Hussein heard in public.

“Amber Heart” - Forbidden Love in Lithuania? PDF Print

Date: 26 March 2015

Country: Lithuania

Amber_Heart_IllustrationWould you read a book of fairytales to children? Would you read it if it tells a story about a brother falling in love with a black male dressmaker, or if it is about a princess falling in love with the shoemaker’s daughter?

The children book “Amber Heart” was banned in Lithuania as harmful to minors and because “it encourages the concept of entry into a marriage and creation of a family other than stipulated in the Constitution”.   The freedom of expression in cases such as “Amber Heart” was discussed at the international conference in Vilnius organised by the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights. The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) representative debated modern media challenges in the field of human rights and freedom of expression.

A Grand Finale: MDI Ends 3-year Programme in Egypt PDF Print

Date: 31 March 2015

Country: Egypt

Egypt_March_2015“The balance is simple: 200 journalists, 160 students, 30 editors, 20 journalism professors and more than 400,000 ‘consumers’ of the content produced over the last 3 years. Challenging but inspiring work!” This is how Doaa Kassem, the Media Diversity Institute’s (MDI) Egypt project manager, describes the hard labour she and her team invested in the successful implementation of MDI’s third multi-annual programme in the country which has been through many political, social and cultural changes during this period.

Doaa continued: “And we wanted to end it with a big bang – we organized an discussion to give an opportunity to the editors of the key Egyptian media to come with recommendations which would help all journalists deal with the challenges of reporting on terrorism.

Fair Reporting on Immigration in Morocco by Young Journalists PDF Print

Dates: 20-22 February 2015

Country: Morocco

Morocco_Immigration“Black Peril”, “Sub-Saharan hordes spread AIDS through Morocco’s streets”, “Sub-Saharan prostitutes offer things that others don’t” – these are some of the titles from Moroccan newspapers. Like in many other countries, including the UK, the tabloids in Morocco are particularly 'creative' in coming up with sensational and alarming headlines and stories regarding immigration. The stories on immigrants are usually negative, rarely nuanced and often inaccurate.

Words like ’hordes’ and ‘black peril’ suggest that Morocco is swamped by Sub-Saharan immigrants, yet there are about 50,000 of them in a country of 33 million people. ‘That is hardly an invasion,’ pointed out Marc Fawe, external relations officer at UNHCR in Morocco.

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