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News & Events
How Do Media Representations Help and Hurt Women in India? PDF Print

15 August 2019

Country: India

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Delhi_protests-India_Raped_says_one_young_womans_signDuring the last week of July, a lorry rammed into a car in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Tragically, two of the car’s five passengers died. Among the survivors was a 19-year old woman who had accused Kuldeep Sengar, an official from India’s ruling BJP Party, of raping her in 2017. Was Sengar behind this crash?

Ever since the allegations against him became public, the woman’s family has been "living in fear.” Her father died under mysterious circumstances in police custody. Legal proceedings into the allegations floundered for two years until India’s “Supreme Court took up the case suo moto” after the crash. Her case illustrates a deep-set structural problem – most rape victims in India face significant barriers to justice due to prejudice. Does media representation play a role?

A Tale of Misinformation: Deforestation of the Amazon in Five Tweets PDF Print

15 August 2019

Country: Brazil

by Andréa Doyle

Cultural tip:  To learn a bit more about Amazonia I strongly suggest you listen to a list called Amazonia Groove on Spotify while reading this piece.

Mouths_of_amazon_geocover_1990As a “Round Earth” believer, I take climate change very seriously.

One would think that hard statistics announcing an 88 percent increase in Amazon deforestation since June 2018 would make others take climate change seriously, as well. But in Brazil, it seems to be an occasion for Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing cabinet to crack down on hard science, in an exercise of pure nationalism. After the statistics were released, his government accused Ricardo Galvão, Director of the Space Research National Institute (INPE), the institution which gathered, analyzed and published the statistics, of being “unpatriotic” and spreading false information. When Galvão challenged the accusation, he was immediately fired.

These kinds of flagrant denials and misinterpretations are disasterous for diversity. Many indigenous tribe leaders native to the Amazon see Bolsonaro's policies as "genocidal," threatening the rainforest that they have called home for centuries. An increase in illegal gold mining has already lead to the death of a Waiapi indigenous leader, and occupation of the village. Bolsonaro, and the government-affiliated media outlets' disregard for indigenous lives is commonly seen as part of an ongoing crackdwon on these communities, many of whom have voiced that governmental policies have not impacted them this badly since the military dictatorship.

As the devastating impacts of destructive environmental policies become more and more difficult to deny, exercises in ignoring, contorting and completely rewriting the facts are becoming more common. Intrigued by this national exercise in creating, recreating and rewriting “the truth”, I set about looking at how the conversation is unfolding on social media, who is tweeting, who is commenting, what they are commenting and who has the most influence.

We Are Cracking Down On Discrimination in the Press. So Why Are Trans People Still ‘Fair Game’? PDF Print

12 August 2019

Country: UK

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Screen_Shot_2019-08-09_at_10.59.48_AMWhen Garry Jones became editor-in-chief at the Daily and Sunday Express, he quickly called out these tabloids’ reputation for Islamophobic, anti-migrant headlines. He vowed that under his direction the papers would not be lumped along the likes of the notorious Daily Mail and Sun, and quickly went about rectifying the problem in the newsroom. His work paid off. Earlier this year, the Muslim Council of Britain acknowledged that the paper’s coverage of these communities had improved drastically, although problems remain.

Unfortunately, Johnson’s care to compassionately cover Muslims and migrants has not translated to other minority communities. Specifically, transgender individuals.

You need no more than a casual Google search to see a series of Daily Express articles that refer to transgender as an “ideology” or a “kind of lunacy.” What makes matters worse, the Daily Express gives a platform to Ann Widdecombe, a notoriously transphobic former MP, Government Minister and current MEP who voted against every single LGBT equality measure during her twenty-three years in Parliament. Do you see any similarities with the Times’s love of transphobic and racist Rod Liddle, or the Daily Telegraph’s generosity to Boris Johnson’s Islamophobia and sexism?

New Project, Countering Cyberbulllying Around the World PDF Print

12 August 2019

Country: Global

Screen_Shot_2019-08-09_at_10.44.15_AMThe Media Diversity Institute Global (MDI Global) is excited to announce FACE, a new project which aims to counter cyberbullying amongst young people.

The project, whose acronym stands for Fighting Against Cyberbullying & Exclusion will develop guidelines, materials, networks and multidisciplinary artistic approaches equip parents, youth workers and students to address the issue in their communities.

We developed FACE in response to the rise of cyberbullying and its extreme negative impacts. Earlier this year, the UK’s communications regulator OFCOM found that one in four children experienced a form of online abuse in 2018. Furthermore, they found that 80% of children surveyed said they were involved in a “potentially harmful online experience.”

Greta Thunberg: The Climate Change Activist Vilified by the Media PDF Print

7 August 2019

Country: Global

by: Eline Jeanné

GretaThunbergIf you have been following news related to climate change in recent months, you are bound to have heard the name Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old Swedish activist first commanded attention by protesting outside the Swedish parliament, calling for immediate action against climate change. She inspired a following; the next month, over one million students around the world made headlines by skipping school in a global strike for climate change.

Since then, Thunberg has spoken at numerous demonstrations, several prestigious conferences and even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. However, like many outspoken young women before her, she is being vilified in the media.

In the pages of the Herald Sun, Andrew Bolt criticizes Thunberg, calling her s a “strange” and “freakishly influential” teenager. He goes on to call her “deeply disturbed,” insulting her mental capabilities, not by engaging with her arguments or approach, but by repeatedly referring to her diagnosis with Aspbergers syndrome—which he refers to as “mental disorders.”

“Merely” A White Supremacist: How The Media Is Missing the Story of White Nationalism PDF Print

6 August 2019

Country: Worldwide

by Jean-Paul Marthoz

Screen_Shot_2019-08-06_at_1.15.09_PMLast Sunday’s New York Times editorial got right to the point: We have a White Nationalist Terrorist Problem.

“If one of the perpetrators of this weekend’s two mass shootings had adhered to the ideology of radical Islam, the resources of the American government and its international allies would mobilize without delay,” it pointed out.

In fact, the same remarks could be applied more or less to the press. Barring a few distinguished exceptions, the media have been slow in highlighting far-right violence. Over the years a succession of statistics have shown a systemic bias within the media in addressing terrorism. Impartiality and balance, the sacred dogmas of US and international journalism, have too often been thrown overboard. As Signal Al wrote in the Guardian, “Violent Islamist extremists are three times more likely than far-right attackers to be described as terrorists in the media, according to an overview of more than 200,000 news articles and broadcast transcripts."

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