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News & Events
Madrid: New Neighbours Media Training for CSOs PDF Print

Dates: 23-25 September 2019

Location: Madrid, Spain

Screen_Shot_2019-10-21_at_10.05.48_PMMedia Diversity Institute (MDI) recently completed the third New Neighbors media training for CSOs, bringing together eleven participants in Madrid, Spain.

New Neighbours is a European Broadcasters Union-led project designed to bring positive stories of refugees, migrants and assimilation to local and community media. Media Diversity Institute is supporting the project by training civil society actors to create campaigns and more effectively communicate with journalists and media organizations to spread constructive stories about migrants and refugees.

While Spain does not have as many migrants and refugees as other countries in Europe, it does have a history of being part of a corridor of people coming from Morocco, as well as a strong Islamic influence in the southern province of Andalusia. For this reason, we worked with the local organizations Al Fanar and Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado, which provided practical advice for how to tailor the workshop to Spain’s unique context for discussing topics such as Islamophobia, migration and Muslim identity in the Spanish media, as well as contacts with journalists.


Symbols of Humanity: Syrian Artist Bridges Times, Religions PDF Print
16 October 2019

Event: 17 October - 17 November

Country: UK


In our divided and polarised world, who, but artists, can conjure up the possibility of coexistence between cultures, ethnicities and religions?

Born in 1966 in Aleppo, George Baylouni fled to France during the war. And now his work builds bridges between the East and the West, and the past and the present.

Fascinated by the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia, he studied their mysterious artefacts and texts, written in ancient cuneiform.

He paints religious symbols and makes collages, adding gold leaf, his trademark, telling a tale of ancient worlds and of contemporary times. Uniquely, his paintings combine religions, with several pieces focusing on both Christianity and Islam in the same painting.

"Humanity can only thrive when we embrace diversity and differences regardless of race, creed or colour. When I combine the symbols of the different civilisations in my paintings, I convey my faith in the unity of humanity. This is my message to the world, irrespective of time or place,” Baylouni says.

His work has been showcased prominently in the Middle East and Europe and he was named one of the 100 most important personalities in the Arab world in 2014 by Arabian Business Magazine.

”Symbols of Humanity”, Baylouni’s first exhibition in London opens at the Stories Art Gallery in Mayfair on October 17 and runs until November 17.

Baylouni’s exhibition marks the first anniversary of Stories Art Gallery, which features renowned and upcoming artists from around the world, many from war-torn countries, and focuses on the stories behind their artwork.

Exploiting the Closest “Enemy”: How Hungary’s State Media Takeover Paved the Way for One of the Most Extreme Perpetrators of Islamophobia PDF Print

15 October 2019

Country: Hungary

By: Mikhail Yakovlev

Screen_Shot_2019-10-15_at_3.29.11_PMStuck behind the Iron Curtain for the better part of the latter half of the twentieth century, Hungary’s population was able to stay largely white and Christian for many decades. While countries with former colonies like France and the United Kingdom were forced to reckon with immigration and integration, issues of race and religion remained largely absent from Hungarian media and popular discourse.

In 2015, everything changed. Suddenly, Hungary became one of the key ‘transit countries’ for refugees bound for Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of Western Europe. Hungary almost immediately became one of the most aggressively anti-refugee countries, erecting a security border fence, mobilizing anti-migrant sentiment in the media and pushing most migrants to cross through Croatia or Slovenia instead.

Black History Month: Is Blackfishing A Sinister, Millennial Form Of Blackface? PDF Print

15 October 2019

Country: Global

by: Sofia Ferreira Santos

BlackPhisingBy now, most of the world can agree that “Blackface” is racist and wrong. But what about blackfishing?

Derived from the term “catfishing”—Internet slang for pretending to be someone you are not online—“blackfishing” refers to the growing practice of white social media influencers using self-tanner, makeup and plastic surgery to project a black, or mixed race aesthetic online. As we celebrate Black History Month, it is important to investigate how this relatively recent phenomenon is capitalising on black culture, while completely disregarding black history.

It is no secret that online influencing is becoming a more and more lucrative profession; however, instead of following traditional standards of beauty that dictate the perfect woman as a skinny white blonde, apps like Instagram have allowed communities of colour to carve out a space for ourselves, sharing our own ideas of beauty online. We have been able to create our own online communities of positivity and support that prioritise our cultures, like the infamous ‘black Twitter. These communities subvert traditional societal hierarchies by placing the needs and wants of people of colour first.

Missing The Story: How the Indonesian Media Covers the Student Protests PDF Print

14 October 2019

Country: Indonesia

By: Yearry Panji Setianto

4608795889_d1f096e6ca_cLast month, thousands of students across Indonesia took to the streets to demand the government to revoke a controversial anti-corruption law and postpone revisions of several proposed bills. Protests have carried on for weeks, and are being called one of the biggest student rallies after the 1998 movement that toppled former President Suharto’s thirty year regime.

However, there is a marked difference in how international media covers the protests, as compared to local Indonesian media. What is more, the Indonesian media chose to cover the protests themselves, as opposed to why the citizens are protesting.

International news outlets are focussing on the new penal code mentioning that the bill could be used to criminalize premarital sexual activities and persecute members of the LGBT community. BBC’s headline “Indonesia protests over sex before marriage bill,” and Al Jazeera’s article, “Indonesia’s president delays vote on law banning extramarital sex” showcased how the international media chose to focus on the government’s proposals to criminalize premarital sex and what is being called a "gay sex ban” is overshadowing the protestor’s anti-corruption narrative.

Fake News, Cultural Appropriation and Security: A New Year on the MA Diversity and the Media Course. PDF Print

14 October 2019

Country: UK

by: Eline Jeanné

MDI_MA_Course_2019Students on the Diversity and the Media MA course have just wrapped on their third week of classes. Over the course of one year, they will be introduced to a range of theories and practical skills on topics such as inclusive journalism and approaches to social and cultural diversity. Hosted at the University of Westminster and developed in collaboration with the Media Diversity Institute, the course has been running since 2011. A lot has changed in the media landscape since then, and with that, the course has adapted too. We sat down with course leader Dr Roza Tsagarousianou to learn which current topics are being explored on the course.

The core module in semester 1 explores various theoretical attempts to make sense and deal intellectually with social and cultural diversity. Dr Tsagarousianou utilises examples to show how these theories impact on what is currently happening: “There is quite a lot of discussion about nationalism and national identity, not only because of Trump but with also with Brexit and what has happened in India. Generally there is more discussion about racism, nationalism and populism than there was before.”

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