Media News & Content
What is Controversial in PEN Award to Charlie Hebdo PDF Print

Date: 07 May 2015

Region: USA and worldwide

charlie_hebdoThe satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo received the much disputed PEN Freedom of Expression Courage award on Tuesday night in New York.

Despite the opposition of more than 200 of its members and the withdrawal of 6 writers as table heads, PEN American Center, a global literary community protecting free expression and celebrating literature, decided to honour the magazine that suffered the murder of 10 of its editorial staff in the 7 January attacks.

When receiving the award, Gérard Biard, Editor-in-Chief of Charlie Hebdo, said: “I perfectly understand that a believer can be shocked by a satirical cartoon about Mohammed, Jesus, Moses or even the Pope. But growing up to be a citizen, is to learn that some ideas, some words, some images, can be shocking. Being shocked is part of a democratic debate. Being shot is not.”

Hate Speech and Xenophobia in Kyrgyz Media PDF Print

Published: 6 May 2015

Country: Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan_Media_Report_2015Celebrating World Press Freedom Day 2015, School of Peacemaking and Media Technology published a report addressing hate speech in local media, digital security challenges and cyber threats, as well as political pressure.

After analysing the last four months of Kyrgyz media content, School of Peacemaking and Media technology concluded that the majority of articles and posts were using hate speech.

Criticism of Baltimore Media Coverage PDF Print

Published: 5 May 2015

Country: US

CNN_Coverage_of_Baltimore_ProtestsSome media coverage of the Baltimore protests after 25-year-old Freddy Gray died in police custody in April was described by many as racist, biased and dehumanizing. The US President Obama, actor Morgan Freeman, and TV host John Oliver are just some of the many who criticized the way media reported on the events in Baltimore. The fact that, not so long ago, most of the US media were characterized as racist for their coverage of the protests in Ferguson following the death of another unarmed black man at the hands of the police, illustrates how deep and systematic the problem is. It is not only that some of the US media reflect racism in American society, especially in some areas and urban communities, but as suggested by the New Yorker in its May issue, the problem could be traced back to an even deeper and wider cause – to segregation, inequality, poverty and education.

Media could have been a solution offering more accurate, unbiased and non-stereotypical reporting. But some of the leading mainstream media repeated the pattern of accusations and stigmatisation of African-Americans instead.

Katie Hopkins: What is Still to Debate? PDF Print

Date: 24 April 2015

Country: UK

migrants_medLast Friday, The Sun newspaper published a controversial opinion piece by Katie Hopkins - a once reality-show participant who found her way as a pundit on celebrity issues and debates on immigration on some of the national TV and newspapers in the UK.

After the umpteenth tragic shipwreck of migrants in the Mediterranean, Hopkins, who is one of The Sun's columnists, wrote not only an anti-migrant piece completely lacking empathy, but she also spread racism, hatred, and even suggested to employ violent solutions against immigrants.

Why Journalists Can’t Afford to Ignore Religion PDF Print

Date: 18 March 2015

Region: Worldwide

Journalists_Reporting_Charlie_Hebdo_AttackJournalists can’t afford to ignore religion anymore. There is a growing need for a better understanding of faith and for more accurate, non-stereotypical reporting on issues related to religion. But how difficult that can be was illustrated at the debate “Damned If You Don’t? Why Journalists Can’t Afford to Ignore Religion” organised by the Media Society in conjunction with the Sandford St Martin Trust on 18 March in London.

Four media professionals and a moderator, BBC Radio 4 presenter Edward Stourton, presented different points of views. Some participants though, were jumping into generalisations such as ‘all Muslims in the UK prioritise their religion’ or ‘the Muslim Brotherhood was elected because the ordinary Egyptians are far more religious.’

What We Learnt from the Rolling Stone's Rape Story PDF Print

Published: 8 April 2015

Region: US, Worldwide

University_of_VirginiaThe consequences of publishing an article about an alleged gang rape at one of the university campuses in the US would have been a major per se. But the damage caused by publishing the false and now retracted story “A Rape on Campus” in the Rolling Stone, is even greater. A good thing is that the magazine, facing a controversy and criticism after the publication of the story in November 2014, asked one of the most prominent journalism schools – Columbia University, to review its reporting and editorial decisions.

Columbia University team concluded that the Rolling Stone failed to comply with basic journalism principles. Columbia University's thorough report should serve as a reminder not only how to conduct a journalistic investigation, but how to report on gender, sexual violence and other sensitive topics and community groups.

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