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News & Events
How Does the Christian Media Cover the Church’s Long Legacy of Protecting Migrants? PDF Print

18 February 2019

Countries: Holland, Europe

by: Angelo Boccato

Screen_Shot_2019-02-17_at_8.26.16_AMLast month, Dutch pastor Derk Stegeman finally concluded a 97 day, 24-hour per day “mass marathon” at the Hague’s Bethel Church. The exceptionally long church service was a legal and clerical experiment to protect Hayarpi Tamrazyan, an Armenian refugee that has lived in the Netherlands for nine years. After being denied political asylum, she and her family were facing deportation.

Eventually, it was successful—at the end of January, Tamrazyan and her family were granted the right to remain in the Netherlands.

How did it work? According to Dutch law, police—including immigration officers—cannot enter a place of worship during an ongoing religious service. Pastor Stegemen reasoned that a never-ending church service could protect Tamrazyan and her family, and organized other religious leaders and volunteers to shelter them while keeping the service going no matter what. The result was a continuous service of various pastors passing the baton to perform ceremonies in a variety of different languages for almost one hundred days.

What is the Role of Newsroom Diversity? PDF Print

15 February 2019

Countries: UK & US

By: Eline Jeanne

newsroomusaIt seems the media is finally waking up to the problem of homogeneous newsrooms. Many publications are pointing out the disparity between the racial composition of newsrooms compared to the cities that they cover. Some are trying to rectify the problem by opening up trainee schemes targeting young journalists from minority backgrounds.

There is a clear need for a range of different voices to cover the issues facing our world today. Increasing xenophobia—whether racism, antisemitism or Islamophobia—is shaping the political narrative in countries around the world, impacting everything from our experience of social media to the prevalence of physical hate crimes. Movements like #MeToo or the push for gender-neutral bathrooms show the importance of having female and gender non-conforming reporters shed light on the major stories of today.

South Social Film Festival Celebrates Black Culture, Peckham Style PDF Print

8 February 2019

Country: UK

by: Safiya Ahmed

SouthSocialPeckhamPart of what makes London so special are events like the South Social Film Festival, which celebrates London's independent artists and filmmakers with a festival full of food, music and film every year. This year's festival was celebrating Black London, with a weekend of Caribbean and African cuisine, art, dance and film in Peckham.

“Our goal is to celebrate the diversity of our communities by showing talent in international, independent cinema. We want to give international cinema a home in South London to encourage a fair representation of different cultures, voices and stories” said Festival Director Paola Melli at the festival last Sunday. An Italian Londoner herself, Melli set up the festival to be South London’s home to independent films, music and culinary events. She has previously organised South Social Meets Greece, Argentina, Colombia, Tunisia and Poland, in addition to a festival specially celebrating female filmmakers in Southwark.

For Melli, the issue of giving a fair representation to different cultures, voices and stories and bringing together London’s various expat groups is of particularly great importance. It was mere coincidence that the event happened during US Black History Month—one of Melli’s goals was to put on a Black culture-focused event independent of the month.

Hate Crime, "Mate" Crime and More: Social Media's Role in Spreading Online Abuse PDF Print

8 February 2019

Country: UK

Online_Hate_CrimeEighty-three percent of LGBT+ individuals and eight-six percent of Muslims have been targeted online, according to a recent All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on hate crime. While experts categorize online hate crime as an extension of offline behavior, online hate crime is nevertheless researched far less than offline hate crime, meaning that any numbers or percentages reported are conservative estimates, at best.

Online hate crime can take many forms. One of the more serious of the trolls’ tactics is doxxing; finding the target’s personal information, and publishing it on social media with intent to harm.

The Rising Tide of Online Antisemitism in Britain PDF Print

31 January 2019

Countries: UK

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

GoogleSearchLast month, Media Diversity Institute revealed the extent of antisemitic, sexist, and homophobic hatred on Russian search engines. Recently, two British NGOs published a report titled, HIDDEN HATE: What Google Search tells us about antisemitism today, showing that similar problems exist in the United Kingdom. According to the report (authored by Community and Security Trust) and the Antisemitism Policy Trust), people around Britain make an average of 170,000 antisemitic google searches every year, 10 percent of which contained violent language or intentions.

In order to carry out the research, former Google data scientist and author of Everybody Lies: What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are Seth Stephens-Davidowitz analyzed Google search terms and Adwords for searches associated with antisemitic terminology and conspiracy theories.

Twenty Years of MDI: What is the Media's Role in Reporting on Religion During the Populist Era? PDF Print

17 January 2019

Country: Belgium, Global

MDI20How does the press coverage of religion differ around the world? Has the media’s depiction of Muslims gotten better or worse over the last decade? Should journalists quote hate speech if the hate speech could incite a violent crime? These were just a few of the questions that were asked at our 20th anniversary panel discussion titled, “Is it the media’s fault? Reporting religion in the populist era."

Belgian journalist and long-time friend of Media Diversity Institute Jean-Paul Marthoz moderated the discussion between Auckland University of Technology’s Verica Ruper, Human Rights League Director Pierre Arnould Perrouty, French journalist and Rue89 co-founder Pierre Hasky and US-based reporter, and religion expert Kimberly Winston. Later, the European Commission’s David Friggieri responded to the panelists points, and added a few of his own.

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