MDI at the Global Forum for Media Development

Dates: 20 – 22 September 2016

Country: Indonesia, Jakarta

Milica_Pesic_at_GFMD_Jakarta_2016The Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) held its fourth international conference titled “Decoding the Future: Rethinking Media for a New World” in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) participated at the World Forum by presenting its project Get the Trolls Out.

In a session Youth v. Propaganda, MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic explained how the project targeted younger users of the social media and helped them recognise myths, lies, or hateful rhetoric and deal with them in constructive ways by using different mechanisms – from street theatre, radio debates, documentary films to cartoons or off and online debates. Pesic also presented the MDI guide for countering hate speech on Twitter.

“As an organisation focused on issues around freedom of expression, we are very pleased that one of the biggest challenges in today’s public discourse – hate speech – has taken an adequate space at GFMD 2016. I am honoured to be given an opportunity to share the MDI experience in countering, not only hate speech but violent extremism, so often promoted via Internet and social media,” said MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic.

“In a post-fact world where the news media no longer serves as the only and primary source of information, media literacy is urgently needed to help young people recognize the difference between fact-based information and propaganda,” wrote The Jakarta Post reporting on the MDI session held at the GFMD.

Advocating for media literacy, MDI Executive Director said at the event held on 20 – 22 September in Jakarta, that “it should be taught from the early age, at schools.”

Jakarta_GFMD_2Indonesian Press Council chairman Yosep Adi Prasetyo has urged the country’s government to establish a school of journalism specifically for Indonesian reporters to improve their quality. He said news media often used information from unverified sources, leading it to virally circulate as news, reports the Jakarta Post.

“The media business is about trust from the reader. The only thing that matters is journalism quality,” said Prasatyo.

Announcing the key themes of the GFMD 2016, organisers said that they won’t shy away from the pressing issues of the day.

“What do we do about extremists using media to spread their radical views? Are there new limits to free speech? Are media owners suppressing the news out of fear of losing profits? Will the rise of new media allow for great independence?” To answer all these questions, the GFMD participants explored the following tracks:

Asia: A who’s who in the Asian media landscape, the top players, the local values and the new business models;
Extremism: The ways and means to counter radical narratives with quality journalism, ethics and commitment to human rights and free speech;
Media and business: Understanding who owns the media and how to ensure sustainability of quality journalism;
Audience: A look into today’s media consumers, their habits, expectations and aspirations;
Technology: Discovering the latest trends and how to make sense of what new technological advance mean for tomorrow’s journalism

The World Forum also focused on access to information, recently established as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and on the importance of coordination for media development to create synergies facing the most pressing challenges.

The GFMD 2016 was organised in partnership with the Indonesian Press Council at Multimedia Nusantara University in Tangerang.