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News & Events
“Climate Strike” is the Word of the Year. But Are We Missing Some of the Story? PDF Print

13 November 2019

Country: Global

by: Eline Jeanné

ClimateStrike_MDI“Climate Strike” is officially the word of the year—with rewilding, bopo (short for body positivity) and hopepunk as runners up.

Every year, Collins Dictionary carefully analyses prominent terminology, and measures whether or not these words are being used significantly more in media and public discourse than the previous year. In 2019, the term “climate strike” was used an average of 100 times more than it was in 2018—a sign that the hundreds of thousands of student activists who followed sixteen year old Greta Thunberg’s lead in skipping school to protest for meaningful action on the climate crisis are striking a chord.

MDI LIVE: Reporting on Refugees and Hate Speech PDF Print

Date: 7 November 2019

Location: London, UK

Screen_Shot_2019-11-05_at_9.53.07_AM“I grew up under the war, I’m 29 years old and we’re talking about war.” These are the words of Kurdish journalist Zozan Yasar, shared at a live recording session of City, University of London’s The Knowhow Podcast. The event was part of a a special symposium held by ESRC Festival of Social Science which looked to tackle the topic of reporting refugees and hate speech and questions. Specifically: where are the refugees’ voices in the coverage?

Hosting the podcast were Dr Lindsey Blumell and Dr Glenda Cooper. Abdulwahab Tahhan was a guest alongside Zozan. Abdul is a refugee from Aleppo and a visiting lecturer at the London College of Communication. During the live recording, Zozan and Abdul discussed the importance of voice; specifically, the need for more regular and authentic refugee voices in the media. Abdul stressed the need to talk to locals when reporting on a refugee story: “When you get someone from the country, you get an authentic voice and the full picture.” He recounts a piece he wrote on Syria; he ended up talking to locals in the country via Facebook and Twitter, gaining a true local perspective on the issues at hand without having to go to Syria. He feels this is something that is often lacking in reporting, especially in the UK.

Are Anti-Corruption Protests in Lebanon and Iraq Raising New Awareness About Disinformation? PDF Print

7 November 2019

Country: Lebanon, Iraq

by: Anna Lekas Miller

Screen_Shot_2019-11-07_at_11.32.50_AMOver the past month, Lebanon has shown the world what a joyful revolution can look like. Across the country, Lebanese of all ages and religious backgrounds have taken to the streets to demand the resignation of the current parliament and an end to the rampant corruption that has plagued the country for decades.

It is the largest popular demonstration in Lebanon’s history—and in many ways, has shown that a country known for being fractured along sectarian lines might finally be ready to come together. Or at least, these are the images that the protestors are sharing on social media. Beiruti bakers have handed out free sandwiches in solidarity with the demonstrators. A couple in the mountains chose to get married among the protests, and when a baby got scarred, protestors gathered around and sang the “Baby Shark” song, showing that the movement was family-friendly.

Have Russian Media Forgotten Anna Politkovskaya’s Legacy? PDF Print

5 November 2019

Country: Russia

By: Mikhail Yakovlev

AnnaP_MDILast month, journalists around the world marked the tragic anniversary of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya’s death, thirteen years ago. On 6 October 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, who served as Novaya Gazeta’s Special Correspondent on the War in Chechnya, was shot four times in the lift of her condo in Moscow. Many around the world believe her murder “killed free media in Russia,” and remember her as a fearless investigative journalist. But is her legacy remembered by Russian media today?

Politkovskaya’s main ‘crime’ was questioning Russia’s state-sanctioned narrative about the War. Her reports revealed human rights abuses perpetrated by the Russian Army against Chechen civilians and pervasive corruption inside the puppet administration of Chechnya’s Russian-backed Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov.

On Politkovskaya’s death anniversary this year, her former employer Novaya Gazeta published a photo of blank sheet of paper on their website. The caption read,

“13 Years Ago Novaya Gazeta Correspondent Anna Politkovskaya Was Killed. This Is What the Prosecutors Have Done to Find the People Who Commissioned Her Murder.”

Eight More Subtly Racist Things Than Rod Liddle’s Article In The Spectator That Have Happened This Week PDF Print

1 November 2019

Country: UK

By: Jeremy Ullmann

According to Rod Liddle, advocating to keep entire religious groups from voting is “light hearted banter,” that should be taken with a grain of salt. If that is the case, here are a few more examples of 'light hearted banter'.

Not to be outdone by the madness of modern politics, Rod Liddle has today swept in to pen one of the most obviously racist articles published by a mainstream publication in recent times.

In case you missed it, he suggested finding ways to forbid Muslims to vote in an effort to gain Conservative seats in the upcoming election:

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