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News & Events
Is the Far Right’s Crackdown on Gender Studies A Threat to Democracy? PDF Print

Date: 11 July 2019

Country: Europe

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Screen_Shot_2019-07-11_at_10.04.34_AMLast year, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban became the first European leader to ban gender studies, arguing that the discipline is an ideology, rather than a science and should not receive university accreditation.

Since then, there has been a worldwide assault on gender and gender studies, fueled largely by divisive media coverage and the rising political power of the far right. While no one else has quite reached the point of banning gender studies, Germany’s Alternatives for Deutscheland Party has pledged to follow Orban’s example, claiming that it disrupts family values. Italian national media smeared a sociologist for conducting research on gender and bullying, effectively shutting down his research. Even Sweden has seen its secretariat for Gender Research evacuated, due to a suspicious package.

Event: The Media Have a Major Role To Play in Breaking Down the Stigma Surrounding Disability PDF Print

Date: 28 June 2019

Country: Belgium

Originally posted on the European Economic and Social Committee Website.

DisabilityInTheMediaAn EESC hearing points to the need to embrace a human rights-based approach to disability in news and entertainment programmes, to build a more inclusive society that sees the person, and not the disability

With their often one-dimensional and pity-inducing portrayal of persons with disabilities, wrought with myths and misconceptions, and a still insufficient range of news and entertainment programmes that meet the criteria of full accessibility, the European media still have a long way to go before they can be considered to communicate about disability in an accurate and inclusive way.

The pivotal role played by the media in raising awareness on disability rights and in combating the stigma and prejudice surrounding persons with disabilities, which still permeate all aspects of European society, topped the agenda at the hearing on "Communicating Disability Rights" held by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels.

#DefendMediaFreedom: New Pledges Not Credible Without Action PDF Print

9 July 2019

Country: UK

Screen_Shot_2019-07-09_at_7.00.07_PMToday Media Diversity Institute was one of 33 press freedom and media development organisations that met in London in advance of the Global Media Freedom Conference to call on all participating States to ensure the protection and safety of all journalists and media workers in compliance with their existing obligations and international standards.

The group, representing and working with hundreds of thousands of journalists and media workers, said new pledges will only be credible if States immediately:

  • Release all imprisoned journalists;

  • Stop killing, attacking and denigrating journalists;

  • Investigate and prosecute all murders of journalists.

The group demands all States hold themselves and their counterparts accountable and show demonstrable progress. Several States attending the Conference currently have journalists in prison and unsolved murders.

Women’s World Cup: A Step Forward in Sports Journalism PDF Print

2 July 2019

Country: Global

by: Eline Jeanné

Screen_Shot_2019-07-02_at_4.02.05_PMDepending on where you live, you have likely seen a lot of hype around the women’s World Cup this year. News outlets have been covering the tournament, shops have been selling memorabilia and pubs having been showing and promoting the games. As an avid football fan myself, particularly of the Dutch women’s team, this has made me very happy. Only a few years ago, women’s football was not getting close to this amount of attention, and sports journalists have played a massive role in giving the women’s World Cup the attention it deserves.

US-based Fox News has reported record numbers for the quarter final game between the USA and France, which attracted 6.3 million viewers. The French opening match against South Korea was the most-watched women’s football game in the country, attracting 10.6 million viewers. In Brazil, the country’s game against France was viewed by over 35 million Brazilians, the largest ever domestic audience to watch a women’s football game. This large increase in viewership has snowballed into more media coverage around the games, both online and offline: sports journalists are taking note, and upping their coverage.

Queer Asia Film Festival – A Rare Celebration of Asian Queerness in the Heart of London PDF Print

Date: 17 - 22 July 2019

Country: UK

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Screen_Shot_2019-07-01_at_11.50.51_AMThe British Museum and Kings College London (KCL) are hosting the third annual Queer Asia Film Festival at locations across London later this month.

A festival that platforms films that explore several different representations of what it means to be Queer and what it means to be Asian, Queer Asia is a rare, and exciting win for both diversity and intersectionality on screen.

This is important for many reasons. For the longest time, LGBTQ+ characters and love stories have been completely absent from screens around the world. While recently the tide has been changing (2018 was a historic year for LGBTQ+ representation on US prime time television, with queer people of color even outnumbering their white counterparts), our cultural conversation on representation, intersectionality, and the importance of showing a range of different LGBTQ+ stories on screen still has a long way to go.



Geoblocking: What Is It, and How Effective Is It In Practice? PDF Print

29 June 2019

Country: Global

by: Eline Jeanné

Screen_Shot_2019-06-29_at_11.20.29_PMRecently there has been more talk about ‘geoblocking’ on social media platforms, and the implications of it. But what exactly is it? You might have heard of the term geoblocking in reference to online video streaming services. It’s the reason why you can’t watch BBC iPlayer content outside of the UK, and why you can watch Gavin & Stacey on Netflix in the UK, but not in the US. Website administrators use your computer IP address to determine which country you are in, and which content you can access. For streaming sites, this is a way to manage licensing rights limitations.

Social media sites such as Twitter and YouTube also use geoblocking methods to block certain content in specific countries. Twitter refers to geoblocked content as ‘country withheld content’. They state that content may be withheld if “we [Twitter] receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity,” detailing that “such withholdings will be limited to the specific jurisdiction that has issued the valid legal demand or where the content has been found to violate local law(s).”

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