Gender Equality, Migration and Media Discussed in Hamburg

Dates: 23 -25 November 2017

Country: Germany, Hamburg

CMMA_Hamburg_3The third CMFE media literacy workshop within the Media against Hate (MAH) project focused on gender equality and hate speech against female journalists. Many journalists get attacked because of their profession. But female journalists often have to face different forms of violence than men: threats of rape or sexual and abusive comments are gender-based and hit women more often.

The workshop held in Hamburg on 23 – 24 November was a pre-event to the first Conference on Migration and Media Awareness (CMMA). Initiated by Refugee Radio Awareness Network, the CMMA2017 focused on the role and responsibilities of media in enabling (or hindering) social empowerment and participation of all citizens in society. Media makers and activists with a refugee or migrant background played a key role in discussion panels, workshops and exhibitions.

“We are here to connect cultures, share knowledge, share history and contribute to a peaceful cohesive society. That’s our vision. We facilitate dialogue through the radio so that we can deconstruct this migrant fear in Europe, which is still very high,” said Larry Macaulay who founded Refugee Radio Network in 2014.

CMMA_Hamburg_4Good practices for inclusion and freedom of expression in community media were presented at the opening panel by Prof. Brigitta Busch of the University of Vienna: “Self-representation for refugees in media is essential to counter misrepresentations and be part of more inclusive national communication spaces”. Community radio has been a key in providing accessible media production and social integration opportunities for new arrivals in Germany, but community media need much more support across Europe.

Community media as important enablers of freedom of expression, as well as the language and etiquette of refugee reporting, fake news syndrome and fighting racism with music were amongst the topics discussed at the CMMA 2017.

CMMA_Hamburg_5Community media were in the focus of the MAH workshop too. Birgitte Jallov, Director of Empowerhouse, presented good practices for women’s empowerment through community media with case studies from Mozambique and Lao PDR. Community radios make women’s voices and viewpoints visible, but also need adequate gender policies to address challenges to women’s space and safety. Jane Whyatt showed how the Women’s Reporting point at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom is helping women journalists facing gender-based violence, threats, sexual harassment or discrimination. Pamela Moriniere, Head of Communications and Campaigns of the International Federation of Journalists, shared the preliminary results of an IFJ survey indicating that one in two women journalists have suffered sexual harassment, psychological abuse, online trolling and others forms of gender-based violence (GBV) while working. Diane Kemp, Professor of Broadcast Journalism at Birmingham City University, pointed to the lack of diversity in newsrooms as one of the underlying issues and to the need for inclusive training standards in journalism schools.

The workshop is part of #MediaAgainstHate, a Europe-wide campaign led by the European Federation of Journalists and a coalition of civil society organisations. The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) is one of the partners in the project Media against Hate. Other partners involved are: Article 19, Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE), Community Media Institute (COMMIT), Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti (COSPE). The project is financially supported by the European Commission (DG Justice and Consumers).