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The study on Charlie Hebdo Effect in the Balkans PDF Print

Published: 14 July 2015

Region: Balkans

Charlie_Hebdo_BalkansThe study "The Charlie Hebdo Effect in the Balkans" analyses how the Balkan media as well as political and religious leaders responded to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, while also taking a close look at legislation of freedom of speech in the countries.

In a close-up analysis of responses to the attacks in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, the study stresses that Balkan leaders and Balkan media have condemned the attacks unanimously, with the majority of Balkan political leaders attending the solidarity march in Paris. Journalists understood this to be a hypocritical PR exercise, as old practices of controlling media are still in practice in Balkan countries, despite new legislation attempting to leave authoritarian practices in the past.

European Summer School on “Prejudice, Genocide, Remembrance" PDF Print

Date: 5 – 10 July 2015

Country: Hungary

Budapest_Tom_Lantos_InstituteSecond European Summer School 2015 gathered 25 civil servants, educators, journalists, churches and civil society representatives from the Council of Europe member countries. Organised by The Tom Lantos Institute (Budapest), the Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Education and Psychology (Budapest), and CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe (Brussels), the School combined substantive education with skills training employing a multidisciplinary approach that complements Holocaust education with human rights training.

The principle goal of the training was to develop understanding of the ways collective memories of traumatic past events shape inter-community relations in the present. Furthermore, the training situated prejudice and genocide in the context of human rights and democratic values.

Is Same-Sex Marriage Overrated? PDF Print

Published: 10 July 2015

Country/Region: US/Worldwide

By Adil Yilmaz

Same_Sex_Marriage_CelebrationThe U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalising same-sex marriage attracted much attention from international media. Major media outlets, such as The Guardian, CNN, Huffington Post, Washington Post, and the New York Times reported on the much anticipated ruling, calling the court’s decision in favour of same-sex marriage a ‘historic victory for gay rights’ and ‘the most important civil rights case in a generation’. However, some critical voices do not view marriage as a tool to achieve equality, stressing the conservative nature of marriage as an institution by emphasising the socio-economic dimension of the marital status. This poses the question whether same-sex marriage is, indeed, overrated and should not be presented as the final step towards equality.

Why Media Should Not Publish Racist Manifestos PDF Print

Publish: 3 July 2015

Countries: UK, USA

Charleston_ShootingThe answer seems to be obvious. According to Code of ethics and guidelines on reporting race by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and by the British NUJ for instance, “publications and media organisations should not originate material which encourages discrimination on the grounds of race or colour”. IFJ's states that "the journalist shall be aware of the danger of discrimination being furthered by the media, and shall do the utmost to avoid facilitating such discrimination based on race, sex, language and religion amongst other things".

Even without the reminder on media ethics, it seems obvious why media shouldn’t be publishing and broadcasting racist statements and spreading hatred against black people. Why then, some of the prominent media outlets in the UK and the US decided to republish what appears to be a racist manifesto of Dylann Roof, a man who shot dead 9 African-Americans in a church in Charleston, USA?

Freedom of Expression Principles in Law PDF Print

Published: 1 July 2015

Region: Worldwide

Defence_Handbook_for_Journalists_and_BloggersAround 160 bloggers and nearly the same number of journalists are currently imprisoned around the world because of their work. Not only journalists in the countries with repressive regimes are prosecuted, but restrictions and regulations with characteristics of violation of freedom of expression have been introduced in developed countries too. It is often, especially after the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, that media experts and journalists are debating what freedom of expression means today and what are the limits in exercising the right of free speech.

In the most recent debate on freedom of expression organised by CIMA and MDI in Washington, panellists expressed a strong position on the importance of social responsibility, critical discussion and good journalism practices stressing as vital to respect context and different minority groups in each society. In a slightly different tone, prominent panellists of Thomson Reuters Foundation argued for example, that world media should have shown a greater solidarity and republish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

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