Media News & Content
Is Same-Sex Marriage Overrated? PDF Print

Published: 10 July 2015

Country/Region: US/Worldwide

By Adil Yilmaz

Same_Sex_Marriage_CelebrationThe U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalising same-sex marriage attracted much attention from international media. Major media outlets, such as The Guardian, CNN, Huffington Post, Washington Post, and the New York Times reported on the much anticipated ruling, calling the court’s decision in favour of same-sex marriage a ‘historic victory for gay rights’ and ‘the most important civil rights case in a generation’. However, some critical voices do not view marriage as a tool to achieve equality, stressing the conservative nature of marriage as an institution by emphasising the socio-economic dimension of the marital status. This poses the question whether same-sex marriage is, indeed, overrated and should not be presented as the final step towards equality.

Why Media Should Not Publish Racist Manifestos PDF Print

Publish: 3 July 2015

Countries: UK, USA

Charleston_ShootingThe answer seems to be obvious. According to Code of ethics and guidelines on reporting race by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and by the British NUJ for instance, “publications and media organisations should not originate material which encourages discrimination on the grounds of race or colour”. IFJ's states that "the journalist shall be aware of the danger of discrimination being furthered by the media, and shall do the utmost to avoid facilitating such discrimination based on race, sex, language and religion amongst other things".

Even without the reminder on media ethics, it seems obvious why media shouldn’t be publishing and broadcasting racist statements and spreading hatred against black people. Why then, some of the prominent media outlets in the UK and the US decided to republish what appears to be a racist manifesto of Dylann Roof, a man who shot dead 9 African-Americans in a church in Charleston, USA?

Freedom of Expression Principles in Law PDF Print

Published: 1 July 2015

Region: Worldwide

Defence_Handbook_for_Journalists_and_BloggersAround 160 bloggers and nearly the same number of journalists are currently imprisoned around the world because of their work. Not only journalists in the countries with repressive regimes are prosecuted, but restrictions and regulations with characteristics of violation of freedom of expression have been introduced in developed countries too. It is often, especially after the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, that media experts and journalists are debating what freedom of expression means today and what are the limits in exercising the right of free speech.

In the most recent debate on freedom of expression organised by CIMA and MDI in Washington, panellists expressed a strong position on the importance of social responsibility, critical discussion and good journalism practices stressing as vital to respect context and different minority groups in each society. In a slightly different tone, prominent panellists of Thomson Reuters Foundation argued for example, that world media should have shown a greater solidarity and republish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

Sensationalism and Stereotypes in Reporting on Domestic Violence PDF Print

Published: 1 July 2015

Country: Serbia

By Ivana Jelaca

Serbia_Domestic_ViolenceIn the first five months of this year, 26 women have been killed in Serbia. They have been killed by their close relatives, mostly by their (ex) partners. The escalation of violence towards women comparing to the last year, is a plea for reaction and a change. But the way that Serbian media report on gender based violence is predominantly sensationalist, reflecting wide use of gender stereotypes.

In addition, there is a tendency to neglect the media ethical codex by exposing names and other explicit details from people’s private lives, mostly irrelevant to the story. Some Serbian media outlets label victims as ‘prostitutes’ or ‘lovers’. They also try to relativize crimes and side with abusers through victim-blaming. Victims are presented to have provoked the crimes committed against them, thereby deserving to be abused.  Most of the media coverage also perpetuates the dominant stereotype of women’s subordinate position. On the other hand, attributes such as ‘rapist’, ‘monster’ and ‘killer’ are often used before attackers are proven to be guilty at the court.

Nieman Reports: Why Newsroom Diversity Works PDF Print

Published: 19 June 2015

Country: US

Newsroom_DiversityOnly 15 percent of daily newspapers in the US had a person of colour in one of their top three newsroom leadership positions, says the 2014 Newsroom Census conducted by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE). According to a 2014 study by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only 25 percent of African-Americans and 33 percent of Hispanics said the news media accurately portrayed their communities.

Gathering and analysing several reports and studies on lack of diversity in the media Nieman Reports published an article suggesting ‘effective strategies for making newsrooms more inclusive’. Why Newsroom Diversity Works proves that there is a need for having more women, ethnic and cultural minorities and others in the newsrooms, in the US and around the world.

Rachel Dolezal: ‘I Identify as Black’ PDF Print

Published: 17 June 2015

Country: US

Rachel_DolezalFormer NAACP official Rachel Dolezal’s racial identity has caused a heated debate on race and gender in the US media landscape. Dolezal, who is of Caucasian decent, had lived as a Black woman for years, using self-tanner to darken her skin as well as adjusting her hair to ‘pass’ as an African-American woman.  In her interview for NBC, Dolezal said that she ‘still identifies as black’ and that she doesn’t ‘put on a blackface as a performance.’

After her parents ‘outed’ the civil rights activist as Caucasian, media split into two opposing camps. A number of media outlets compared Dolezal’s self-identification as a black woman to Caitlyin Jenner’s trans* identity, whereas others strongly opposed to the idea of equating race with gender in this way.

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