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News & Events
OSCE Releases "Freedom of Religion or Belief and Security" Policy Guidance, Mentions Media PDF Print

24 September 2019

Country: Global

ReligionEarlier this month, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) released the Freedom of Religion or Belief and Security Policy Guidance, a handbook intended for policymakers to better craft policies that further religious freedoms.

Three sections touched on the media’s role in ensuring religious freedom and mitigating the impact of hate speech. While they are quite general in nature, it is a welcome addition to the policy guidance, and will hopefully guide conversations on how to improve coverage of religion-oriented stories in local and international newsrooms around the world.

Join the South Social Festival Celebration of China PDF Print

Event: 3 October 2019

Country: United Kingdom

Screen_Shot_2019-09-23_at_4.32.26_PMSouth Social Film Festival is a space that celebrates South London’s diversity and multicultural character. Launched in 2015 by Paola Melli an Italian-born film festival curator, the festival strives to meet the growing demand for independent films with an intersectional perspective that is not being met by mainstream cinemas. On 3rd October, they will be celebrating China* with an independent film screening, dance performance and delicious Shanghai food.

In the last twelve months, South Social has put up an impressive programme. In November 2018, they affirmed the valuable contribution of women directors with #girlsmakefilms at Tate Modern. In February this year, the “festival was celebrating Black London, with a weekend of Caribbean and African cuisine, art, dance and film in Peckham.” Since then, South Social organised a number of smaller events, focusing on particular countries like Japan, Spain and Chile.


MDI at UNESCO's Global #MIL Week "Feature Conference" PDF Print

Event: 24-26 September 2019

Country: Sweden

Screen_Shot_2019-09-23_at_4.12.46_PMThis week, Media Diversity Institute will be at UNESCO’s Global Media and Information Literacy Week “Feature Conference” in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Senior Programme Manager Dasha Ilic will be moderating a panel on “MIL to Tackle Disinformation and Propaganda,” featuring Soeun Yang and Jae Woo Lee of Seoul National University, Head of the Lycé Franco-Finlandais d’Helskini Kari Kivinen, Remo Media CEO Namnandorj Bayaraa of Mongolia, and Twitter’s Public Policy Manager Mr. Ronan Costello. This panel will take place on 25 September, between 8:30 and 10:00 AM local time.

#BreakingTheBinary: Guns or Mental Illness? PDF Print

19 September 2019

Country: United States

by: Anna Lekas Miller

Screen_Shot_2019-09-18_at_3.40.01_PMEvery time a mass shooting occurs, a familiar narrative plays out across the US media. We need gun control—now! There is a mental health crisis—guns don’t kill people, people kill people. We need more funding for mental healthcare. He is a troubled youth—a sociopath with no friends, and strange habits.

Racial justice advocates point out that if the shooter were Muslim, he would immediately be called a terrorist—but as a white man he is a “lone wolf” or “loose canon.”

But what about this “loose canon” narrative?

“Every time there is an incident of mass gun violence, one of the fastest ways to avoid addressing relevant social issues is to pivot to mental illness,” Center for American Progress Disability Rights Researcher Azza Al-Tiraifi told Media Diversity Institute.

How Do You Draw the Lines of Cultural Appropriation When Everyone “Is A Little Bit Black” PDF Print

19 September 2019

Country: Brazil

by: Sofia Ferreira Santos

Screen_Shot_2019-09-18_at_1.28.14_PMBrazilian singer Anitta sparked an international debate when she released a music video for her song Vai Malandra in late 2017. Some praised the singer for showcasing Afro-Brazilian and favela (historically black, often poor and underserved neighbourhoods) culture to the wider international public, as she sported a dark tan and long braids while wearing a bikini made out of black-tape, a style commonly used by favela residents to sunbathe on the roof tops. However, many were offended by her use of these symbols to lucratively promote her song and image--even though she grew up in a favela, herself.

Anitta hit back at the 373 million viewers, claiming that cultural appropriation doesn’t exist in a country where “everyone is a little bit black.” It was not the first time a white or mixed Brazilian celebrity was accused of appropriating Afro-Brazilian culture for Instagram shots or video aesthetic. But, unlike in the West, where the boundary appears clearer, in a mixed-race country like Brazil where everyone really is “a little bit black,” it is difficult to establish clear boundaries around race or agree on a singular narrative when it comes to cultural appropriation.

The Tide Has Turned for the RNLI—But Britain’s Xenophobic Media Remains the Same PDF Print

17 September 2019

Country: United Kingdom

by: Anna Lekas Miller

Screen_Shot_2019-09-17_at_4.09.24_PMEarlier this week, Britain’s anti-immigrant rightwing readership had a field day when the Sunday Times and Mail Online “revealed” that the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) spends £3.3 million pounds on overseas projects, while 95 British jobs are on the line.

“The fact that the RNLI are cutting staff in the UK but boosting spending on these international projects begs the question of what the priority of the organization is,” the paper quoted Tory MP Nigel Evans as saying.

“I would say that 99 percent of the British public giving money to them haven’t the faintest idea that its being diverted to projects overseas.”

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