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News & Events
Journalism or Nationalism? PDF Print

16 September 2019

Country: US, Global

by: Jean-Paul Marthoz

JPMarticlegraphicWhen I wrote Objectif Bastogne (Objectif Bastogne. Sur les traces des reporters de guerre américains, GRIP, Brussels, 2015), a history of US war correspondents in the Battle of the Bulge (December-January 1944) I had no doubt about what side my journalistic heroes, from Walter Cronkite to Martha Gellhorn, were on. It was a total war, a clash of civilizations between totalitarianism and liberal democracy—even if said Allies were imperfect democracies and included Joseph Stalin.

At the time of the so-called “Good War,” there was almost no tension between journalism and patriotism. Journalists grumbled when censors were incompetent or adjusted their prose but accepted the “blue lines” when a general would tell them that their right to report was curtailed so that the “boys” would not be endangered and the enemy would not be comforted.

In fact, in times of total war, patriotism and journalism tended to be good fellow travelers. Back in the day, most journalists rallied around the flag and took the utmost precautions not to expose their army or weaken their country. If they did criticize the army, it was because they thought that decisions had been made that compromised the security of the “boys” or the success of a military offensive.

Framing Solidarity as Terrorism: Greek Media and Refugee Squat Evictions in Athens PDF Print

13 September 2019

Country: Greece

by: Marianna Karakoulaki

downloadIn the early hours of 26 August 2019 Greek police officers stormed four buildings in the centre of Athens. Greek media outlets aligned with the recently-elected Neo Demokratia ruling party claimed that the squats were home to drug traffickers, and other hardened criminals. However, journalists’ photos of refugee families and children being forced out of their accommodations and taken to police stations tell a different story.

Squats are common in many European cities, including Athens. Historically, they have been home to artists, anarchists and leftists. However, since the beginning of the refugee crisis—and later, the EU-Turkey deal with trapped thousands of refugees bound for Germany in Greece for the indefinite future— these squats became life-saving alternative housing for refugees and migrants unable to access or afford other accommodation.


Three Sisters – The Khachaturyan Case, a Litmus Test for Misogyny of Russian Media PDF Print

12 September 2019

Country: Russia

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Screen_Shot_2019-09-12_at_1.02.03_PMIn Anton Chekhov’s fin-de-siècle play, three sisters “dream of a future in which ‘women will wear trousers’.” Suffocated in their provincial town, they spend countless days mourning their father’s death and dreaming of escape – “To Moscow! To Moscow! To Moscow!” Notoriously, the play ends with nothing realised…

Now, a much more sinister real-life version of the Three Sisters is playing out in Russia: three sisters are on trial for murdering their father, after he repeatedly raped and abused them.

The Khachaturyan sisters claim that their murder was in self-defence. But will the notoriously misogynist Russian media support their version of the story?

Meghan Markle and the Press: Where is the Hate Coming From? PDF Print

12 September 2019

Country: United Kingdom / Australia

by: Eline Jeanné

MeghanIt is no secret that the British monarchy has a certain power over the public; whether that is satisfying their adoring fans or firing up its critics. The UK media plays a large role in this, with barely a week going by without a new story about the royal family. In recent times, this reporting has largely been focused on one new royal: Megan Markle. The American ex-actress married Prince Harry and during her short time as a royal family member, Markle has been the focus of an extraordinary amount of criticism. The media has been criticised for its unfairly negative coverage of Markle, with some media outlets using racist tactics to smear her.

In the most recent example, Australia’s 60 Minutes investigates the “royal crisis,” announcing the new episode along the hashtag #Megxit. One of their main sources? Katie Hopkins.

Hopkins is known for many things. She called for a “final solution” in response to the Manchester terror attack. She has repeatedly described migrants as “cockroaches” and “feral humans.” She used the racial slur “Jigga-Boo” referring to a black man on Twitter, a platform which now acts as her main source of content, and which has been retweeted by Donald Trump. All in all, Hopkins is known for racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, sexism and a myriad of other forms of hate—nevertheless, she was presented as a reliable source for a show on Meghan Markle.

Sarajevo’s First-Ever Pride Gets Dismissed as “Shame Parade” by Opponents PDF Print

Threats, insults and rejection prior to the first-ever pride march in Bosnia and Herzegovina, topped with protests and ignorance, are mirrored not challenged in Bosnian media.

The Great British Ban on “Gender Stereotypes” in Adverts. Censorship? Or a Step in the Right Direction? PDF Print

29 August 2019

Country: UK

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Screen_Shot_2019-08-29_at_4.36.06_PMEarlier this summer, new Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rules banning “harmful gender stereotypes” went into effect in advertisements across the United Kingdom.

Already, the ASA has taken up complaints about two advertisements, one for Philadelphia cream cheese and another for Volkswagon. Now, industry leaders are accusing the advertising authority of censorship, claiming that it interferes with their business.

Are these accusations justified?

ASA argues that the new rules—which forbid any advertisement that advances problematic gender portrayals—are important to counteract the power of advertisements to feed stereotypes and produce “real-world harms.”

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