MDI News
‘Tobacco Girls’ article produced at MDI training wins award PDF Print

Tobacco GirlsPosted: June 17, 2010

Country: Egypt

‘Tobacco girls’ is a shocking article by Safaa Saleh of the harmful working conditions of many Egyptian girls in the Al-Warda tobacco factory, in Egypt. Through this article Safaa Saleh brings us inside the unexplored halls of one of the biggest tobacco production factories, pretending to be one of the new workers herself and documenting the everyday life of many young girls aged from 9 to 22, who are often forced to leave the education system to go to work in such unhealthy environments.

This brave article won the 2010 Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press, in the category “best investigative report”. Safaa Saleh, the article’s author, is an Egyptian journalist currently writing for Al-Ousbouh; she previously worked with Al-Yaoum and the Jeel Al-Ghad, in Egypt.  

The ‘Tobacco Girls’ article was originally produced as part of a training course for journalists organised by the Media Diversity Institute in Egypt, and published in Arabic in the newspaper Al-Ousbouh on the 11 December 2009. The article can be viewed in English by downloading the booklet of all the articles produced at MDI training courses in Egypt - Click here

Media & NGOs meet to improve media coverage of diversity PDF Print

Antonia Meszaros“Funding for media organisations is a problem. It would be useful if NGOs could help media outlets realise what funding is out there that they could go for and come up with ideas that could be applied for jointly, as in a media organisation together with an NGO, as well as to come to us [the media] with specific human stories that we can do, stories that are pretty much already set up, so that the overworked journalist does not actually have to do that much” said Antonia Meszaros, a news anchor on Hungarian TV, as she detailed some of the ways that NGOs representing discriminated groups could help the media to improve coverage of diversity.

This was just one of many insightful presentations at the ‘Media for Diversity in New EU Countries’ Conference, held in Bucharest on 28-30 May 2010.  Leslie Hawke, co-founder of Asociatia Ovidiu Rom, an NGO working to improve the situation of Roma children in Romania, and mother of the actor Ethan Hawke, gave a keynote speech detailing a World Bank Report stating that if the Roma community were not included more in society in new EU countries, particularly in relation to education, then it would have a significant detrimental impact on the economies of those countries.

Azeri TV journalists trained in covering diversity PDF Print

AzeriJournoFireA burning issue…

Two fire engines roared past us, towards the thick black smoke pouring out of an abandoned brick factory just a few hundred metres away. As the children we’d just been interviewing looked on, Sabina straightened her hair and started her piece to the TV camera. “For the 150 or so children who live in this settlement, this is their playground,” she said, gesturing around her. “Behind me, a derelict factory that has just burst into flames, to my left a dangerous lake where two people have drowned, and here to my right a rubbish dump…”

Sabina and her five-strong team were taking part in a reporting project for TV journalists organised by the Media Diversity Institute and Yeni Nesil, in Azerbaijan. They had come to a makeshift settlement in the capital city, Baku, to report on the perilous living conditions for the children of internally displaced people.

The 10-day course, in May 2010, was designed to help the participants develop their skills in covering groups in Azeri society that are often overlooked by mainstream media coverage. Eight TV journalists had initially signed up for the course, but another five from the state broadcaster, Az TV, had asked if they could join the team too, the day before the training started. So the now 13-strong group had been divided into three teams and each sent off to research, film and edit a short film. This learning-by-doing would help them explore, understand and discuss issues around discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, physical or mental ability, legal status and sexual orientation. 

Indonesia: how to handle religion? PDF Print

Dates: April 17th-19th, 2010

Country: Indonesia

Leading media analysts, reporters, lawyers and NGOs will debate the issue of how to handle religion at a training event on International Religious Freedom Advocacy,  April 17th-19th, 2010, in Jakarta.  The event is a collaboration between USA-based organizations - Freedom House and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty - and the UK-based Media Diversity Institute (MDI) and their Indonesian partner, the Indonesian Legal Resource Center (ILRC).  The training  will feature plenary sessions framing  religious freedom issues within the prevailing media, legal, and social context in Indonesia . 

Moroccan radio journalists explore diversity issues PDF Print

TRPMar10hallwayPosted: April 8, 2010

Country: Morocco

“As a journalist, having to report objectively, isn’t it like being deprived of freedom?” asked one of the participants of the Inclusive Journalism radio training course organised by the Media Diversity Institute, in Marrakech, Morocco, at the end of March 2010.

That central question set the tone for a week of lively discussions on diversity issues, inclusive journalism, prejudices in the media, how to give a say to those who are usually ignored, what is the role of journalists in society and more importantly what are their responsibilities.  Journalism ethics is of course a perfect academic topic, but it has only a limited value if it is not put into practice.

The course participants were asked to confront their own prejudices – an enriching but sometimes unpleasant process – by meeting representatives of civil society organisations and by producing topical radio features of their choice which had to include “real people” and cover as many angles as possible.

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