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News & Events
MDI’s Executive Director on BBC Weekend PDF Print

Date: 28 April 2018

Country: London, UK

IMG_4740Milica Pesic, MDI’s Executive Director, was a guest on BBC Weekend on 28 April. On the show a variety of topics were discussed, including recent developments in the Korean Peninsula, the current political situation in Armenia and the ‘bromance’ between Trump and Macron on his recent visit to the Unites States.

She was joined on the program by Giles Fraser, priest-in-charge at St Mary’s Newington Church and former cannon chancellor at St Paul’s Cathedral, who also writes a column for UnHerd.

 
MDI in Perugia: Journalism Can Fight Far Right PDF Print

Date: 13 April 2018

Country: Italy, Perugia

Screen_Shot_2018-04-22_at_13.03.46Panelists of the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) panel at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia agreed that journalism can answer to the challenge of far right and extremism.  Focusing on fascism and its rise in Europe and elsewhere, panelists explored if the media can counter it. British journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Austrian journalist Bettina Figl, Jean-Paul Marthoz of the Belgium Le Soir and Jovanka Matic of the Institute of Social Sciences Belgrade talked about the rise of fascism and whether journalism is part of that problem or it can be a solution. That was the main theme of the panel moderated by MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic at the International Festival in Perugia.*

Semantics was one of the topics discussed. Giving the Francophone perspective, Jean-Paul Marthoz explained how a legal battle took place in order for journalists to be allowed to use the term ‘extreme right’. According to him though, journalists must focus on who these parties and their followers are, and what they do and not to get too caught up in semantics.

 
Hungarian Media Campaigns against Refugees and Soros PDF Print

Published: 11 April 2018

Country: Hungary

By Angelo Boccato

Screen_Shot_2018-04-11_at_17.53.12After the Hungarian leader Viktor Orban won a landslide victory at the elections on Sunday, many international media commented on his anti-immigration rhetoric, his image of “Europe’s bad boy” and the challenges that his nationalistic policy poses to the EU liberal values.

The anti-migrants and refugees narrative has been pushed all over Europe proving to be a successful tool for the right and far-right movemnets. In Hungary, many media outlets supported the anti-immigration agenda of Orban’s party Fidesz. Both mainstream and social media have played a significant role in it. In a series of articles ahead of our panel at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia “Fascism is back. Is journalism part of the problem or a solution?", the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) has questioned the role of the media in the rise of far-right in Europe.

 
A Media Storm: Antisemitism in the Labour Party PDF Print

Published: 4 April 2018

Country: UK

By Eline Jeanne

Screen_Shot_2018-04-04_at_11.55.09The past few days have seen the media reporting heavily on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, with a focus on antisemitism. This was triggered by a Facebook comment posted a few years ago by Corbyn underneath an image of an antisemitic wall mural, in which he questioned its removal. The issue was brought to light by Luciana Berger, Labour and Co-op MP for Liverpool Wavertree. On March 23rd she tweeted a screenshot of the artist’s Facebook page with Corbyn’s comment, as well as an image of the actual mural, writing that she was awaiting an explanation on this from the Leader’s Office. The case has ignited mass media coverage and debate, and the discussion has shown clear polarised views, both in and out of the Jewish community.

 
German Far-right AfD's Digital Artillery PDF Print

Published: 23 March 2018

Country: Germany

By Angelo Boccato

German_PressSocial media had played a big role in the success of Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right party that won 13% in elections in September 2017. AfD also had an assistance of Harris Media, a Texas-based advertizing agency whose clients include the British party UKIP and Donald Trump. Their work could be recognised in an advertising campaign featuring an image of bloody tire tracks criss-crossing European cities, from Berlin to Manchester and Barcelona saying “The tracks left by the world chancellor of Europe”. That was a clear reference to the German chancellor Angela Merkel and her decision to open the country’s borders in 2015.

After Merkel’s political move, many German media have been accused of being uncritical and one-sided in their coverage of the refugee crisis, finds a report commissioned by the Otto Brenner Stiftung in Frankfurt. According to a study led by Thomas Hestermann, Macromedia School journalism professor, the German media’s focus has shifted towards alleged non-German crime suspects, despite the increase of attacks against migrants. For example, the German Interior Ministry claimed in February 2017 that nearly ten attacks against migrants have been made every day in 2016.

 
Hatred in Everyday Life in Serbia PDF Print

Date: 28 February 2018

Country: Serbia, Belgrade

CZKD_Belgrade_Feb_2018_IvanaThe Media Diversity Institute (MDI) Western Balkans organised a debate on hate speech in a public discourse in Serbia. „Discrimination and hate speech have became part of public life. Both traditional and digital media as powerful influencers, often contribute to the forming of hateful attitude, particularly among young people. Therefore it is important to discuss the issue of hate speech, the role of the media, as well as the bounderies between freedom of expression and hate speech,“ MDI Westwern Balkans Director Ivana Jelaca said at the opening of the debate on 28 February in CZKD in Belgrade.

Discussing why the media are one of the main producers and promoters of hate speech, Jovanka Matic, Research Associate at Institute for Social Science, explained that hate speech in Serbia today is different than hate speech in Serbia during the Yugoslav wars and the crisis during 90s.

 
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