Debating Diversity With Postgraduate Students in Agadir

Dates: 8 – 10 February 2016

Country: Morocco

Students_AgadirWho is the most stereotyped in the Moroccan media – HIV positive people, Jews, prostitutes or Sub-Saharan migrants? Students of MA Media and Diversity at the University of Ibn Zohr in Agadir didn’t have an easy task. Through practical journalistic exercises at the 3-day workshop with the Media Diversity Institute (MDI), they debated stereotypes and generalisations, misrepresentations of women and other marginalized groups, lack of female editors and editors-in-chief in Morocco, ethics, objectivity and inclusion, as well as the way Muslims are perceived by some Western media.

“It is called Islamophobia. Not all Muslims are terrorists as the Western media portray us,” said one of 35 students attending MDI workshop. “Some Western media,” corrected him one of the trainers with a reminder to avoid generalisations while arguing against them.

A short video from this training is available on the Media Diversity Institute YouTube Channel.

University_of_Agadir_StudentThe University of Agadir had collaborated with MDI before when its student Maalaynine Mentana got awarded for her contribution to the Dune Voices website. Dune Voices’ editor-in-chief Mourad Sellami talked to the highest representatives of the University and to the students, mostly on creation of the website for applying inclusive journalism concepts.

Several students expressed their interest in MA in Media and Diversity at the University of Westminster designed in partnership with MDI and since the application process is currently open for inspiring students from all over the world.

“We would like to compare two courses – in Agadir and the one in London. How much practical work our colleagues at the University of Westminster have, what modules, how they define diversity and what they think about today’s media,” some Moroccan postgraduates said. They added that they benefited from discussion on possible changes in the media, not only in Morocco, but worldwide, as well as from assignments given by the MDI trainers, Safi Naciri and Dasha Ilic.

The workshop with students at the University of Agadir was organized as part of 3-year project “Promoting Freedom of Expression, Diversity and Inclusion in Morocco” supported by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation.