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News & Events
Human Rights: The Mass Media’s Bogeyman? PDF Print

Published: 30 September 2014

Country: UK

By Prof. Eric Heinze, QMUL, London

Liverpool_Conference‘If the tabloids didn’t have human rights, they’d have UFOs.’  That was one of many ideas animating a conference held in September entitled ‘Human Rights in the UK Media: Representation and Reality’, at the University of Liverpool.

Organised by human rights specialist Dr. Michelle Farrell of the university’s School of Law and Social Justice, this interdisciplinary event hosted experts in media, law, politics and social sciencesTopics ranged from terrorism to Scarlett Johansson to Tibbles the cat. The majority of human rights cases are brought by ordinary people.  Some have suffered real outrages.  But the tabloids, one of the leading conference themes ran, still hype the UK Human Rights Act (HRA) as a ‘Charter for terrorists, rapists, and paedophiles’.

Changing Faces of Religion and Religion Journalists PDF Print

Published: 26 September 2014

Region: Europe

Reporting_ReligionThe gradual rises of certain narratives in Europe that are anti-diversity and anti-tolerance are particularly affecting various religious groups, immigrants, and minority groups in general. Very importantly, they constitute a challenge for the media and journalists in portraying and representing otherness.

Representing the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) at the conference organized by the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ), Edmundo Bracho, a visiting lecturer at Westminster University, said: “In terms of religion and immigration, two focal problems that the European media is facing in recent times are the moral panics towards immigrants from Albania, Bulgaria, and specially Rumania on the one hand; and on the other, the coverage of Islam in Europe under the globalized discourse of the ‘war on terror’”.

“Invisibles” produced by Maghreb Media PDF Print

Published : 26 September 2014

Region : Magreb

wmen_and_mediaAhead of the presidential elections in Tunisia this November, the UNESCO released its newsletter "Femmes et médias au Maghreb" encouraging journalists to act as a catalyst for change and to show how women are represented in the country’s public sphere. For example, in neighbouring Algeria more than a third of parliamentary seats are held by women, but they almost never appear in the media, says UNESCO.

Therefore, to have more gender-balanced media coverage of national politics in the countries of Maghreb region, the media need to interview more female politicians and to have more female presenters and women moderating debates on the screen.

No Country for Old Minded TV PDF Print

Published: 23 September 2014

Country: Spain

family_tvSpain is the country where same-sex marriage has existed for almost a decade. But some Spanish media still promote discrimination against LGBT community. The latest example was the family show ¿Quién manda aquí? (Who's in charge here?).

The show that encourages families, two adults and one child under 12, to participate in a competition for the travel price, is broadcasted on TVE1, one of the most popular TV stations in Spain. However, a problematic precondition appeared in the casting’s rules: “Every team have to be formed by a man (father), a woman (mother) and a minor between 8 and 12 years old”. This means that same-sex couples and one parent families were excluded.

Bollywood Stars against Sexism in the Media PDF Print


Published:  23 September 2014

Country: India

Deepika_PadukoneOne of the leading Bollywood actresses, Deepika Padukone, stood up against Times of India and widespread sexism in the media. Times of India tweeted about Padukone’s cleavage and soon after the actress replied: “Yes, I am a woman and I have breasts and a cleavage. You got a problem”?

Padukone’s words were retweeted several thousand times and her stance against sexism caused Indian newspaper, not to issue an apology, but to delete the comment stating it was meant to be a compliment. India, reports Huffington Post, is the worst place in the world to be a woman and “it is becoming increasingly important that Bollywood stars - who are viewed as virtual gods by the masses - take these issues head on”.

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