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News & Events
Boris Johnson's Degrading Article about the Burka PDF Print

Published: 7 August 2018

Country: UK

By Eline Jeanne

BoJoArticleBoris Johnson, the UK’s former foreign secretary, wrote a piece for the Telegraph about Denmark’s recent burka ban, and whether we should adopt the same laws in the UK. Upon reading the title of the piece, which claims that Demark has “got it wrong”, you might be cautiously optimistic. Maybe this piece will show a different side to Boris – you start to think – a side that is willing to listen to Muslim women and recognise the burka ban as demeaning and oppressive. Sadly, this is not the case. The piece spreads degrading messages about women who choose the wear the niqab and the burka, and compares women who wear these Muslim garments as looking like letter boxes and bank robbers.

 
MDI at the First World Religious Freedom Ministerial PDF Print

Dates: 24-26 July 2018

Country: USA, Washington DC

Religious_Ministerial_1Welcoming more than 350 guests from 80 countries, the US State Department International Religious Freedom, Ambassador Sam Brownback, set the tone of the event: “Religious Freedom is your own right to believe in whatever you want to believe in or nothing at all. That’s your own right and your Government should not interfere with it.”

The 3-day event brought together government officials, religious leaders and organisations specialised in religious freedom issues or diversity in general “to discuss challenges, identify concrete ways to combat religious persecution and discrimination, and ensure greater respect for religious freedom for all.” The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) Executive Director and a Trustee of MDI USA Milica Pesic was invited to participate as the representative of both organisations developing and implementing projects with the focus on religious intolerance in the media and in public sphere. Religiously diverse audience in Washington - Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Baha’is, Yazidis and others – was urged by Ambassador Brownback to go beyond mere tolerance of religious differences.

 
Social Media Matter PDF Print

Published: 3 August 2018

Countries: UK and USA

By Angelo Boccato

Black_Lives_Matter_Black_and_WhiteWould Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements reach the same audience if they were not supported by the widespread use of hashtags on social media? Also, how important and significant is the online space provided by social media for marginalised groups?

The Pew Research Center published a report “Activism in the Social Media Age” claiming thatroughly half of black social media users say these platforms are personally important to them when it comes to expressing their political views or getting involved with issues they feel are important”. The publishing of the report coincided with the fifth anniversary of the use of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.

 
Love Island: The Hit Show with No Diversity PDF Print

Published: 2 August 2018

Country: UK

By Eline Jeanne

love_island_sr4If you have been anywhere on social media or have browsed any news site these past few weeks in the United Kingdom, you will have heard about Love Island. The dating reality TV show, which ran 6 episodes a week for 8 weeks straight, is extremely popular, with the most recent season gathering an average of  5 million viewers per episode, when combining both TV and non-TV viewers. The show is based in a villa in Mallorca, where the sole aim for contestants is to couple up and to survive numerous challenges and curveballs, with one couple in the end winning £50,000. This year, with the show being in its 4th seasons, some critics and viewers have noticed a clear problem: the show lacks diversity, and it’s troubling.

 
Serbian Tabloid’s Editor Guilty of Hate Speech PDF Print

Date: 30 July 2018

Country: Serbia

Serbia_Informer_Vucicevic“Informer” is a pro-government, pro-Putin tabloid that breached the Code of Ethics many times, as well as some basic rules of decency and good taste. Its editor Dragan Vucicevic was found guilty of hate speech after an NGO, Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR,) filled a lawsuit. The court decision warning Serbian media to sustain of spreading hate speech represents an important step, said the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) Western Balkans that has been running several projects on how to tackle hate speech.

 
Lesbian Batwoman Adds to Diversity on Screen PDF Print

Published: 27 July 2018

Region: Worldwide

By Angelo Boccato

BatwomanThere have been many TV and cinema comic-book adaptations featuring members of marginalised groups in lead roles. “Black Panther” movie based on Marvel Comics character of the same name, featuring predominantly black cast, “has demonstrated the strong economic power of diversity and inclusion on screen.” But will “Batwoman” prove that a lesbian superhero can be a commercial and critical success?

When it comes to on-screen adaptations, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the DC Extended Universe seem to be competing on introducing new leads in terms of race and gender.

 
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