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MDI Complains to IPSO and The Telegraph PDF Print

Date: 28 September 2018

Country: UK

Informal_meeting_of_foreign_affairs_ministers_Gymnich._Round_table_Boris_Johnson_36913612672_croppedAfter the Telegraph published a discriminatory piece by former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) complained to the paper. As the leading partner in the Get the Trolls Out project, MDI submitted an official complaint to The Telegraph stating that the newspaper has breached  IPSO’s Editors’ Code of Practice, specifically code 12, regarding discrimination. The rule says: “The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's, race, colour, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.”

MDI has requested answers on why the Telegraph published Johnson’s Islamophobic remarks against Muslim women wearing the full face veil, what action was taken within  the media outlet afterwards, and what could be done to prevent a recurrence in the future. As the Telegraph denied breaching article number 12 of the IPSO’s code without justification, MDI has contacted IPSO directly. IPSO told us "their guidelines apply to an identifiable individual’s religion only".

Women are Underrepresented, Both On and Off Screen PDF Print

Date: 28 September 2018

Region: European Union

800px-Even_if_it_is_more_common_to_say__Camera_Man__a_WOMAN_is_at_work_hereThe European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) has released a report looking at the representation of women in the audio visual media industry.  The report looks both at women’s roles on-screen, as well as in more technical positions in the industry of-screen. The report covers a variety of both EU and non-EU countries, including France, Italy, the UK and Hungary. Overall, the report concludes that there is still a significant imbalance between men and women, both on and off screen. However, EPRA also sees hope for the future.

When discussing the lack of women in the industry, the report states: “Across Europe, there are disparities between the representation of men and women both on- and off-screen. Women appear less on screen across a range of genres and are typically subject to more stereotypical and degrading portrayal than men. In off-screen creative roles, women are also generally under-represented, but most significantly in senior and/or technical positions.”

MDI Starts New Programme in Jordan PDF Print

Dates: 2-5 September 2018

Country: Jordan

Jordan_collage"I can’t recall the last time when I stayed all through an event and enjoyed it this much". When Rawan Istetieh summarised her evaluation of the MDI Amman event, our representatives already knew a thing or two about her: a reckless fighter for Human Rights, one of the loudest gender-equality campaigners, one of the pioneers in combating child cyber bullying, an enthusiastic footballer and a woman behind the establishment of the first ladies’ football club in Jordan. Rawan does not hide her feelings about any of the issues close to her heart. Neither does she restrain from challenging the MDI representatives on any of the issue discussed over a 4-day event.  It seems we scored well.  We made Rawan happy.

Rawan Istetieh, from Amman-based NGO Darabzeen for Human Development, was talking of MDI’s first Media Information Literacy (MIL) Workshop held in partnership with UNESCO Jordan, September 2-5 in Amman. The main objective of the event was to build the capacity of civil society organizations’ representatives on Media and Information Literacy (MIL), enabling them to develop MIL competences, to critically use the available media tools and – most importantly - to pass on their newly gained knowledge and skills to their peers.

Grassroots Arabic Media Break Taboo on Talking Queer PDF Print

Date: 13 September 2018

Region: MENA, Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia

By Mikhail Yakovlev

Image_1Despite changes around the world, most recently in India, queer issues remain taboo in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). “The official fiction that gay people don’t exist to any great extent in Muslim countries” – explains Brian Whitaker, the author of Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East. In keeping with this fiction, mainstream media in MENA either bypass queer issues altogether or present queers in a negative way.

The case of Qatar’s Al Jazeera is particularly revealing in this respect. As “the first independent news channel in the Arab world dedicated to providing comprehensive news and live debate,” Al Jazeera’s stated aim is to be “a voice for the voiceless.” The network’s London-based English Service certainly gives queers a voice. A quick search of the English website reveals many sensitive well-researched articles, some of them by Arab writers. In contrast, the Arabic website has a single bizarre op-ed provocatively titled ‘The Lie of Scientific Justification for Homosexuality’.

Powerful Launch of the "Disability: a Matter of Perception" Project PDF Print

Date: 17 September 2018

Country: Macedonia, Skopje

Disability_Lemia_1It was a powerful ending of the first day at the EU-Western Balkans Media Days event in Skopje. Two performers, Mia and Leon, danced in front of media professionals, experts and policymakers from the Western Balkans and the EU, helping the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) and its partners launch the project “Disability: Matter of Perception” and prove why we need better inclusion of people with disabilities.

"Through dance or through journalism, we can and we have to do something to include people with disabilities in the media. MDI together with our partners is working here in Macedonia on challenging perceptions, both our own and those of others," said MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic. MDI had a unique opportunity to launch its project at the EU-Western Balkans Media in Skopje by hosting a short dance work “LEMIA: Carousel of Perceptions” that is a part of the Performance Research Intesive programme of the Inclusive Movement Research Collective (IMRC).

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