MDI News
“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.

"Media in the Balkans Worse than after the Wars" PDF Print

Date: 11 March 2015

Region: Western Balkans

Columbia_University_March_2015At the symposium dedicated to the state of the media in the Western Balkans held at Columbia University, the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) chaired a panel. The symposium gathered journalists and media experts who were discussing the changes in the media since the end of the Yugoslav wars. Censorship and self-censorship in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia have already raised red flags among media monitors, investigative journalists, and foreign and local observers.

Therefore it was not surprising when the key note speaker at Columbia University, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic declared that ‘freedom of the media in the Balkans is worse than after the wars in the ‘90s’.

From Doubt to Dialogue: MDI launches “Media & Security in Tunisia” Study PDF Print

Date: 14 March 2015

Country: Tunisia

Tunisia_Rafik_ChelliIn the beginning there was doubt. Now there is a dialogue’. This statement by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) Executive Director epitomises the work done in less than a year with more than 130 people - journalists, editors, security officials and security experts. They were interviewed to assess media practices in Tunisia related to reporting on security issues, conflict, and extremism.

The results were presented in the "Media & Security in Tunisia" Study which was launched at the conference held on 14 March in the Tunisian capital.

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