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News & Events
Rachel Dolezal: ‘I Identify as Black’ PDF Print

Published: 17 June 2015

Country: US

Rachel_DolezalFormer NAACP official Rachel Dolezal’s racial identity has caused a heated debate on race and gender in the US media landscape. Dolezal, who is of Caucasian decent, had lived as a Black woman for years, using self-tanner to darken her skin as well as adjusting her hair to ‘pass’ as an African-American woman.  In her interview for NBC, Dolezal said that she ‘still identifies as black’ and that she doesn’t ‘put on a blackface as a performance.’

After her parents ‘outed’ the civil rights activist as Caucasian, media split into two opposing camps. A number of media outlets compared Dolezal’s self-identification as a black woman to Caitlyin Jenner’s trans* identity, whereas others strongly opposed to the idea of equating race with gender in this way.

The Case of Goldsmiths Diversity Officer PDF Print

Published: 15 June 2015

Country: UK

By Adil Yilmaz

Bahar_Mustafa_at_GoldsmithsGoldsmiths student diversity officer Bahar Mustafa has caused controversy after she advertised an event for BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) non-binary students only. A number of Goldsmiths students started a petition to remove Mustafa from her position, but failed. The authorities were called in to investigate possible hate speech against white men on Mustafa’s social media accounts.

Some of the UK mainstream media outlets blamed her for excluding white students and portrayed her as a racist pushing an anti-white agenda, actively discriminating against white male students. Mustafa responded saying that she cannot be a racist, because she is an ethnic minority woman.


CIMA and MDI: Strengthening Freedom of Expression in a Multicultural World PDF Print

Date: 9 June 2015

Region: Worldwide

panelFreedom of expression and its challenges in a multicultural world were the main topic of the event organised by the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) and the Media Diversity Institute (MDI). During an engaging discussion in Washington, panellists and the audience debated what are practical ways for strengthening freedom of expression, as well as what kind of social responsibility the media and journalists have when they report on events such as the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo?

MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic joined by dr Verica Rupar from Auckland University and Courtney Radsch from the Committee to Protect Journalists, also talked about the need to have inclusive journalism and reporting diversity included in curriculum of journalism schools? Panel held in Washington on 9 June was moderated by the BBC News journalist and presenter Razia Iqbal.

Turkish Parliamentary Candidate Too Open About His Sexuality? PDF Print

Published: 3 June 2015

Country: Turkey

By Adil Yilmaz

Turkish_MP_CandidateTurkish media outlets supporting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s conservative party AKP did not hold back their homophobia when reporting on Turkey’s first openly gay general elections candidate Barış Sulu. The LGBT rights activist standing for the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in the city of Eskisehir was subject to a public smear campaign led by government-friendly media, aimed to discredit Sulu by exposing his personal life.

Haber 10 and Yeni Akit published a series of personal photos of Sulu and his partner to ‘expose his immoral and indecent lifestyle’. These media outlets described the photos as ‘inappropriate’ and ‘scandalous’, as the couple did not try to hide their relationship. Although the photos were far from displaying explicit content, even an innocent kiss appeared to cause outrage among some right-wing media which considered it necessary to blur out the entire photo to protect their readers from being exposed to two ‘half-naked men kissing’.

Apply for Journalism Diversity Fund Bursaries PDF Print

Deadline: 8 July 2015

Country: UK

Journalism_Diversity_FundJournalism Diversity Fund (JDF), a British media industry-funded initiative, is looking for people from diverse backgrounds that need help funding their journalism training. Bursaries are on offer for those with the potential to succeed in one of the most exciting and rewarding careers around.

Deadline to apply for JDF bursaries is 8 July. All applicants must come from a socially or ethnically diverse background and must provide proof they have secured a place on an NCTJ-accredited course starting in the academic year September 2015 – August 2016. More information on how to apply and who is eligible can be found here.

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