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Dasha Ilic

Published: 28 November 2012

Region: South-East Europe, Bucharest

by Aidan White

seenpm_journalists_balkansAny hope that political pluralism and the lure of membership of the European Union might give democracy and media a lift in south eastern Europe is still wishful thinking according to new reports on the state of media in the Balkans.

Twenty years after the fall of communism and 13 years on from the last military action in the region, there is still a poisonous mix of hate speech and intolerance at work in media particularly in Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo. And across the region journalists work in an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship.

These are the conclusions of initial country reports from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia, which were presented at the South East Europe Network for Professionalisation of Media (SEENPM) conference in Bucharest on 16-17 November.

The reports, which will be finalised and published early next year, reveal a picture of media struggling to survive in a suffocating atmosphere of political and corporate corruption.


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Dasha Ilic

Published: 07 November 2012

Country: Colombia

by Aidan White

colombia_el_sofa_lgbtThe chief of a public television channel in Colombia, who slapped down a public official when he demanded a list of lesbian or gay media staff, shows how media employers need to react swiftly when political bigots try to undermine their journalists.

Hollman Morris, the director of Canal Capital, in Bogota, is a distinguished and award-winning journalist who spent more than 15 years covering Colombia’s internal armed conflict, with a particular focus on human rights.

He came under attack from Marco Fidel Ramirez, a local councillor and pastor, who accused him of using his channel to promote a lesbian and gay agenda in the city.


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Dasha Ilic

Published: 18 October 2012

by Aidan White

julia_gillardSexism in public life is hardly new, but in the last few days angry scenes in the Australian parliament and some sharp research in Britain highlight the particular role media play in creating unacceptable stereotypes of women.

When Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard vigorously rounded on opposition leader Tony Abbott last week accusing him of hypocrisy and misogyny she was widely praised, but not by the mainstream media which said she was diverting attention from problems of sexism within her own party.

However, this was a predictable media response say observers who complain that when it comes to bias, discrimination and gender stereotypes journalism is part of the problem.


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Dasha Ilic

By *Rasha Abdulla

Posted: 28 September 2012

muslim_rage_newsweekAn idiotic movie (of which we’ve only seen a trailer) produced by some who absolutely lack any religious sensitivity…  An idiotic reaction by a handful of long-bearded Muslims who got idiotically moved to “defend” the Prophet… An idiotic cover by Newsweek lacking any sense of journalistic professionalism and reducing the issue to “Muslim Rage.”… But then thank God we got Twitter!

It’s amazing how Newsweek decided that Muslim Rage was an appropriate term to describe a population of more than 1.5 billion people worldwide… The same ignorant rhetoric we saw on the part of American media in the aftermath of the criminal acts of 9/11.

It is so easy to paint 1.5 billion people with a brush of rage, of red blood, of animosity and hatred towards the West. And of course, and why not, especially since the act will probably go unpunished. As a raging Muslim woman, I wonder if the magazine would’ve been able to get away with “Jewish Rage” for any of the atrocities Israel commits on a daily basis against Palestinians, including many women and children.

But as I said, thank God for social media.


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Dasha Ilic

by Aidan White

Posted: 28 September 2012

andrew_mitchell_mpThe one flaw in the life and culture of British society – the country’s historical obsession with class and social status – is the issue that may have undone the political career of Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative MP roundly condemned on all sides, even within the press, for his ill-judged rant against police outside Downing Street.

Mitchell may like to think of himself as a celebrity cyclist, wheeling along in the slipstream of London’s populist  Mayor Boris Johnson, but he came unstuck for raging at officers, a police woman among them, who refused to open the gates to let him pedal up to No 10. He is alleged to have called them ‘plebs.’

This insult, more than his swearing, has opened up a fresh storm about the class division between Britain’s posh conservative government and the upper class it represents against, well, ‘plebs’ like the rest of us.


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