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MDI at the Newsweek Press Freedom Conference PDF Print

Date: 3 September 2015

Country: Serbia

Newsweek_Conference_2“Everybody is talking about the laws [on media freedom] but these laws need to be implemented,” said Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, addressing  a  conference in Belgrade organised by Newsweek Serbia. As a guest at the panel moderated by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI), Mijatovic warned that there is a need to “speak loud and clear about the problems with media freedom”.

More than 20 speakers from around the world as well as some 200 attendees from Serbia itself agreed that the “situation in journalism in the Western Balkans is worrying”. The main problems include governmental and financial pressures, as well as lack of trust in journalism and journalists. Mijatovic added that the situation in the Balkans is worse because of many unresolved murders and physical attacks against journalists. Equally critical about the situation in journalism in the Balkans was Aidan White, Director of the Ethical Journalism Network.

Operation Storm: Some Media Still in the 90's PDF Print

Published: 28 August 2015

Country: Serbia

Media_Coverage_of_Operation_StormTwenty years after the war in former Yugoslavia, officials and media in Croatia and Serbia had marked the anniversary of Operation Storm in a very different way.  Some in Croatia were celebrating the Victory Day on the 5th of August. On the other side, some media and officials in Serbia were remembering victims and almost 200,000 Serbs who fled Croatia. Covering the Anniversary of Operation Storm, many media outlets resembled what they were back in 90’s when they were fostering hatred, spreading propaganda and inflaming conflict in Yugoslavia.

Media coverage in Serbia was thoroughly analysed by Tamara Skrozza, a prominent journalist and media ethics expert. In her report for Cenzolovka website, Skrozza noted that most of the content she analysed was biased. Also, none of the Serbian media who were analysed did not raise a question of responsibility that some of the leading political figures in Serbia today might have had during the events in August 20 years ago.

Book Preview: Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship PDF Print

Published: 27 August 2015

Country: UK

Photo_courtesy_Flickr_Jennifer_MooShould hate speech always be punished? Does limiting the freedom of expression to some really guarantee greater freedom for others?

Eric Heinze, Professor of Law and Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London, doesn’t seem to think so and argues his positions on his latest book: Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship (Oxford University Press). The dominant rationales for current hate speech bans are challenged and deconstructed here in a meticulous and informed effort to defend freedom of expression.

Egypt Homosexuality Debate: Luxury or Breaking a Taboo? PDF Print

Published: 10 August 2015

Country: Egypt

By Heba Katoon

Egyptian_Actor_FacebookFacebook turned into a rainbow-drenched platform following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalise same-sex marriages in all American states. The trend of putting rainbow colours, a symbol of LGBT rights, on Facebook profile picture was popular, but not everyone liked it. Facebook pro-gay marriage filter caused a fury across the Arab world.

In Egypt for instance, according to the Pew Research Center, homosexuality is not acceptable to 95% of population. LGBT-themes are not prohibited in the media, but most of the coverage have been negative and tend to be censored by the government for being ‘obscene’ or for ‘promoting’ homosexuality.

Elections in Morocco: How to have more Women in the Media? PDF Print

Dates: 31 July – 2 August 2015

Country: Morocco

Morocco_Workshop_August_2015Fatima is a university professor in Morocco who is also a political party candidate in the upcoming local elections in Morocco. Her campaign focuses on women voting in big cities, but also on those living in rural areas. “But how do you talk to women who don’t speak Arabic, but only Amazigh (the language of Berber minority in Morocco)? How do you address the issues important to them and how do you shape your media campaign in order to include minorities too?” – asked Fatima’s colleague at the workshop organized for women candidates taking part in the elections in September.

Discussions on topics of media relations, campaigning on women’s issues and inclusion were just some of the highlights of a workshop held in Agadir on 31 July - 2 August, organized by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) and in partnership with Association Epanouissement  Feminin (AEF).

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