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Aidan White

Published: 13 February 2013

Country: UK

by Aidan White

lego pg 3Lego has ended a partnership with The Sun newspaper after online protests by anti-Page 3 campaigners who generated a wave of condemnation over the toymaker’s links with a paper that defiantly continues to publish nude pin-ups, despite growing unease that this tawdry feature of tabloid newspapers has definitely passed its sell-by date.

The Guardian reports that this decision by the Danish company, whose global brand is known to hundreds of millions of parents and children worldwide, is being seen as a victory by campaigners against press sexism.

In particular, for Steve Grout, who launched an online petition to protest over Lego’s involvement with The Sun when his two young sons aged seven and nine started asking him to buy the paper because Lego was offering free toys to readers.

"My kids started on at me, saying 'I wanna buy the Sun',” he told The Guardian “It sowed a seed in their mind that the Sun is linked to toys, but I don't want my kids to see a naked woman in the newspaper."

His petition launched on the activists’ web-site Change.org touched a nerve and attracted more than 12,000 signatures in less than two weeks.


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Aidan White

Published: 27 February 2013

Country: UK

by Aidan White

radio 4 presentersAspects of how women are marginalised in media – old and new – have been highlighted on both sides of the Atlantic.

Harriet Harman, the combative deputy leader of the Labour opposition party and a veteran campaigner for women’s rights, has hit out at age discrimination against women in British media.

As the shadow minister for culture she has put major news media on the spot with a written demand to seven broadcast chiefs to give full details of how many women of 50 and over are employed as newsreaders, presenters and reporters.

At the same time in the United States the Women’s Media Center has released its 2013 report on the Status of Women in the US Media which finds that online media, far from offering more opportunities for women to play a role in journalism, is behaving just as badly as legacy media. When it comes to the profile and visibility of women in media they still come a distant second with men dominating bylines and stories.

Both events reveal how a continuing failure to deliver anything close to equality of treatment for women in the news business remains a major challenge at home and abroad.

 


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Aidan White

Published: 7 February 2013

Region: MENA

by Aidan White

protests_in_Arab_world_over_youtube_movieBloodshed  in Libya, civil war in Syria and a toxic mix of sectarianism and political deadlock in Tunisia and Egypt have taken the shine off  the Arab Spring, particularly for many people in journalism and news media.

The pace of change has slowed dramatically since December 2011, when demonstrations, protests and unprecedented expression of people power in Tunisia first ignited demands for democratic reform across the Middle East and North Africa.

But there are still reasons to be cheerful. Journalists and media leaders including publishers, editors, and experts from a number of Maghreb countries met last month in Tunisia determined to inject fresh life into the movement for media reform.

They adopted a plan of action – the Hammamet Declaration – which aims to target hate speech, sectarianism and undue political pressure on media.

Among their proposals is the adoption of a code of ethics for journalism, which will be important to strengthen public credibility. They also aim to establish an observatory to monitor media performance and they plan to create a working professional network across the Maghreb to improve the economic, social and professional conditions in which journalists work.


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Aidan White

Date: 11 December 2012

Region: Denmark, Worldwide

by Aidan White

danish_cartoons_protest_in_iraqSix years after the Danish cartoons crisis opened up a chasm of controversy and misunderstanding over different approaches to free speech between Christiane and Muslims, a team of researchers in Copenhagen have pointed the finger at media which they accuse of reinforcing prejudice and Islamaphobia. The research did not make big news in Denmark when it was published earlier this year – in fact, it was barely reported at all by the country’s media – but it is making headlines in the Muslim world.

The results of the research into the performance of four major national newspapers in reporting Muslim and Islamic affairs indicate that media are falling woefully short of the editorial standards required to provide balanced and inclusive coverage. Not surprisingly, say the researchers, Islam is perceived negatively by most Danes.

Despite the fact that the cartoons crisis provoked a polarising political debate about differences over free expression in the west and the Arab and Muslim world, the media culture that created the firestorm in the first place remains largely unchanged.


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Aidan White

Azeri_Minister_smallPosted: 7 June 2012

Region: Azerbaijan

By Aidan White

As the razzmatazz, glamour and kitsch of the Eurovision song contest begin to fade in Baku, political leaders in Azerbaijan are returning to what they do best – stirring up intolerance and hatred.

In the firing line are political opponents, media and rights groups who supported protests during Eurovision over the country’s poor human rights record.

Leading the backlash is the loud-mouthed Ali Hasanov, the head of the Ideology Department in the Administration of President Ilham Aliyev who in a controversial speech on May 31 called for an atmosphere of "public hatred" to be directed against dissident journalists and opposition media.


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Aidan White

PSApicPublished: 29 May 2012

Region: UK & Worldwide

By Aidan White

The most testing confrontation facing English football next season will be between racists on and off the pitch and the game’s administrators who say they are determined to eliminate abuse on the back of a season when racism dominated newspaper headlines.


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Aidan White

pakisatanlogoforaidan

Published: 17 May 2012

Region: Pakistan

By Aidan White

Pakistan journalists and media leaders have launched a new campaign to improve ethical standards that will include actions to prevent journalism being used to foment sectarian hatred.

 


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Aidan White

dwonromaPublished: 17 April 2012

Region: Switzerland & Worldwide

By Aidan White

The Roma community is Europe’s largest single minority and also the most neglected and abused, often by unthinking editors and irresponsible journalists. The latest example comes from Switzerland where the current affairs magazine Die Weltwoche earlier this month published a front page picture of a Roma child pointing a gun on its cover with the headline “The Roma Are Coming”.


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Aidan White

Published: 28 March 2012merah

Region: Worldwide

By Aidan White

The decision by the Arab satellite channel Aljazeera not to broadcast video recorded by the gunman in Toulouse as he killed seven people is a victory for newsroom ethics and should encourage fresh debate in Britain and elsewhere about broadcasting standards and coverage of terrorism.


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Aidan White

fabricemuamba

Published: 28 March 2012

Region: UK

By Aidan White

On March 17th I made the following comment on my Twitter account: “Fabrice Muamba. Great talent. Football fans everywhere uniting in solidarity. Come on son, you can make it.”


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