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News & Events
Language Matters: Islamophobia or Anti-Muslim Hatred? PDF Print

21 May 2019

Country: UK

by: Anna Lekas Miller

IslamophobiaAntiMuslimHatredAnyone who has ever monitored—or experienced—Islamophobia knows that most attacks are as rooted in racial hatred as they are in anti-religious sentiment.

However, when the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims suggested adopting a broad definition of Islamophobia as “…rooted in racism and a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness,” conservative MPs descended into an uproar, claiming that the definition would stifle criticism of Islam, and silence legitimate debates.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire even went so far as to say that intertwining race with religion would have “legal and practical consequences.”

Sharing Stories and Calling Out Hate PDF Print

20 May 2019

Country/Region: Europe

ChangingTheNarrativeAhead of the European Parliamentary elections, immigration has become the biggest hot button issue—even more so than the economy and climate change. Across the continent, far right political parties are gathering momentum by blaming any and all of Europe’s problems on immigrant communities and open borders.

In some cases, this has lead to all-out hate speech. Far right movements with names like Pegida—which quite literally stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident—are becoming increasingly common, as conservative parties like Alternatives for Deutschland (AfD) gain prominence.

Both the far right political parties and movements have lead to widespread disinformation, particularly when it comes to migrants. A recent Eurobarometer survey showed that respondents in nineteen of the twenty-eight Member States believe that the number of immigrants in their country is two to three times as high as the real figures.

European Elections: How To Combat Hate Speech & Disinformation? PDF Print

16 May 2019

Country: Europe

by: Anna Lekas Miller

FakeNewsEarlier this week, news broke that twenty “fake news” Facebook pages had been removed for spreading Italian far right propaganda, ahead of the European Union parliamentary elections next week.

“There is more proof that lies designed to sow hate are being deliberately spread on social media ahead of the EU elections,” said Christoph Schott, the campaign director of Avaaz, the US-based non-profit that flagged several of the websites.

One of the Italian pages showed a video of migrants bashing a police car—even though the video is actually a scene from a movie, that has been debunked a number of times. Another one quoted Italian journalist Roberto Saviano as claiming that he would rather save migrants than Italian earthquake victims—even though there is no proof that he ever said anything of the sort.

New Projects from Disability: A Matter of Perception PDF Print

15 May 2019

Country: Macedonia

Disability_Lemia_1We are excited to share that our “Diversity: A Matter of Perception” project in Macedonia has begun implementing several new projects, funded by sub grants from the European Commission.

“By targeting one of the most vulnerable groups in the society, people with disabilities, the project builds relations between journalists and media through most of the implemented activities,” the Macedonian Institute for Media wrote in a statement.

“By joining the journalists and representatives from people with disabilities, CSOs to work together, to hear each other and discuss common issues, the project enabled the problems, the interests and the challenges of the people with disabilities come in the journalists’ focus."

#ChristchurchCall: What About Mainstream Media? PDF Print

15 May 2019

Country: UK


After the Christchurch massacre, social media companies came under fire for allowing the terrorist’s livestream to spread across their platforms. However, in the UK, mainstream online publications like The Daily Mail and The Sun also played footage from the terrorist’s livestream on their front pages, reaching millions of viewers.

Why is no one holding these publications accountable for spreading violent content online?

Media Diversity Institute and Hacked Off are calling upon IPSO, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, and body responsible for regulating each of the above publications to re-evaluate its role in amplifying the spread of far right hatred online. Earlier this week, we started a conversation with policymakers and other stakeholders to discuss how this could be done  without compromising freedom of expression. We pointed out that if the primary role of the media is to keep the authorities accountable, then they themselves need to be accountable, which is not the case with the media outlets listed here.

#SilenceHate: Countering Hate Speech Against Migrants PDF Print

11 May 2019

Region: Europe

Screen_Shot_2019-05-10_at_3.22.29_PMWe are excited to share that our #SilenceHate participants are starting to publish their articles after several months of hard work.

Our #SilenceHate project kicked off more than one year ago in London, with a five day “Media Camp,” training thirteen participants in the intricacies of how hate speech is used to target migrants, and what journalists can do to counter it.

“Hate speech against migrants is really connected to the rise of the far right narrative,” said Dasha Illic, the project coordinator. Illic ran the training in her capacity at Media Diversity Institute (MDI), while the project was lead by COSPE and run alongside European Federation for Journalists (EFJ), Amnesty Poland, Amnesty Italy, Karpos, Affiria, and the Cyprus Community Media Centre.


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