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News & Events
MDI at ARIJ 2019: Storytelling to Cure Social Divisions PDF Print

Event: November 22-24

Location: Jordan

Screen_Shot_2019-11-28_at_2.19.49_AMLast week, Media Diversity Institute gave a workshop titled, “Storytelling to Cure Social Divisions” to the ICFJ (International Center for Journalists) Fellows at the ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) conference in Amman, Jordan.

“How does disinformation play out in your countries?”, asked Communications Manager Anna Lekas Miller, who lead the workshop. In recent months, both Iraq and Lebanon have experienced social uprisings which has lead to unprecedented levels of both disinformation, and disinformation debunking.

“Let’s talk about how this is playing out—and how it impacts diversity?

The discussion that ensued showed the diversity of the ICFJ MENA fellows present. In Yemen, the local media promoted rumors about Jewish minorities so much, that most of Yemen’s Jews fled to Israel, shared on participant. In Sudan, rumors about female journalists circulate on WhatsApp groups, making it almost impossible to get any accountability if something happens to them, shared another.

After the workshop, participants were equipped with the skills to recognize the ways in which disinformation preys on social divisions in their countries.

New Neighbours: Two Film Screenings in Brussels PDF Print

Date: 21 November 2019

Location: Brussels, Belgium

AcrossRoad_MDIThe European Broadcasting Union successfuly screened two documentaries from Media Diversity Institute’s New Neighbours series on 23 November, at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. Both films examine the project’s core themes: how do refugees and migrants adjust to new surroundings, and how do old communities adjust to their new neighbours’ presence?

(See the trailer of all projects here).

The first film, Across the Road — World’s Apart follows the story of 94 year old Eva Sternhem-Peters, whose childhood was defined by leading the girl’s wing of the Nazi party’s youth movement. Over the course of her life, she had a political awakening and now shares her apartment with Amer Kassab, a young Syrian refugee. But not everyone in the neighborhood had the same journey. Across the street, a pub frequently welcomes clientele with German nationalist, anti-Muslim views. Could Amer’s presence change their mind?

Paulo Paulino Guajajara's Death is an International Wakeup Call to the Rising Death Toll of Indigenous Peoples in Bolsonaro’s Brazil PDF Print

14 November 2019

Country: Brazil

by: Sofia Ferreira Santos

Brazil_IndigenousPaulo Paulino Guajajara spent almost every day over the last few years patrolling the Amazon, guarding the forest’s pristine nature and indigenous communities from illegal logging and farming. He was known as a “Guardian of the Amazon,” a title given to indigenous activists who document and fight against the region’s deforestation.

On November 1, five armed men surrounded him and another one of the other guardians, brutally murdering him in the forest that he dedicated his twenty-six years on earth to protect.

“One more Guardian has gone,” indigenous politician and activist, Sonia Guajajara who also comes from the same tribe broadcast to the APIB (Association of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples) YouTube Channel.

“There have now been many from the Guajajara people that have died for fighting against this illegal exploration of our territory, this exploration of our trees, but it cannot go on like this,” she continued.

Can #MeToo Become #WeToo? How A Lack of Diverse Coverage of the #MeToo Movement is Leading to Comebacks of Predatory Men PDF Print

14 November 2019

Country: Global

by: Safiya Ahmed

TaranaBurke_MDIA few weeks ago, women around the worlds’ hearts collectively skipped a beat when Hollywood producer—and infamous alleged sexual predator—Harvey Weinstein was spotted at an event for young actors in a bar on New York City’s Lower East Side.

“I didn’t know that we’d have to bring our mace and rape whistles with us,” female comedienne Kelly Bachman improvised, beginning her set by addressing the elephant in the room.

Even more shocking, when a few other young women attending the event approached him, asking how on earth he felt it was appropriate to be at such an event given his upcoming trial for alleged rape and sexual misconduct, they were thrown out. He got to stay.

Almost two years ago, the New York Times broke the story of the famed Hollywood producer’s serial sexual misconduct, bringing the story of dozens of famous actresses to light for the first time in history. The explosive story inspired women from other industries to speak out as well, finally creating a collective voice to put together the disjointed pieces of how powerful men abuse their positions to prey on young women.

“Climate Strike” is the Word of the Year. But Are We Missing Some of the Story? PDF Print

13 November 2019

Country: Global

by: Eline Jeanné

ClimateStrike_MDI“Climate Strike” is officially the word of the year—with rewilding, bopo (short for body positivity) and hopepunk as runners up.

Every year, Collins Dictionary carefully analyses prominent terminology, and measures whether or not these words are being used significantly more in media and public discourse than the previous year. In 2019, the term “climate strike” was used an average of 100 times more than it was in 2018—a sign that the hundreds of thousands of student activists who followed sixteen year old Greta Thunberg’s lead in skipping school to protest for meaningful action on the climate crisis are striking a chord.

MDI LIVE: Reporting on Refugees and Hate Speech PDF Print

Date: 7 November 2019

Location: London, UK

Screen_Shot_2019-11-05_at_9.53.07_AM“I grew up under the war, I’m 29 years old and we’re talking about war.” These are the words of Kurdish journalist Zozan Yasar, shared at a live recording session of City, University of London’s The Knowhow Podcast. The event was part of a a special symposium held by ESRC Festival of Social Science which looked to tackle the topic of reporting refugees and hate speech and questions. Specifically: where are the refugees’ voices in the coverage?

Hosting the podcast were Dr Lindsey Blumell and Dr Glenda Cooper. Abdulwahab Tahhan was a guest alongside Zozan. Abdul is a refugee from Aleppo and a visiting lecturer at the London College of Communication. During the live recording, Zozan and Abdul discussed the importance of voice; specifically, the need for more regular and authentic refugee voices in the media. Abdul stressed the need to talk to locals when reporting on a refugee story: “When you get someone from the country, you get an authentic voice and the full picture.” He recounts a piece he wrote on Syria; he ended up talking to locals in the country via Facebook and Twitter, gaining a true local perspective on the issues at hand without having to go to Syria. He feels this is something that is often lacking in reporting, especially in the UK.

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