November Newsletter: Online Disinformation Threatens Diversity in the Media

On 22 October a consortium of 17 US News organisations published a series of reports called ‘The Facebook Papers’. Reports were based on hundreds of internal documents collected by Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee and whistle-blower. They looked at Facebook’s role in promoting misinformation: disinformation that led to hatred and violence. The Facebook Files include reports about the company’s weakened response to reports of human trafficking and the presence of drug cartels within the platform, as well as Facebook’s knowledge of Instagram’s toxic impact on teens

Media Diversity Institute has been looking at the impact of misinformation online for years through our articles and projects. Recently our journalists Mojibur Doftori and Saba Chaudhury explored the impact of misinformation and hate speech in India and Pakistan.

Our current projects such as Muslim women and communities Against Gender Islamophobia in society, Global Exchange on Religion and Society, Get The Trolls Out!, Get The Trolls Out: Sri Lanka, Reporting Diversity Network 2.0, Inclusive Media, Cohesive Society among others, explore inclusivity and diversity in the media as well as the society and propose solutions for a better media landscape by exposing the fallacies of traditional and online media as well as by highlighting the importance of networking and collaboration among peers.

Events and Project News

We recently took part at several events. Our Executive Director, Milica Pesic, represented Media Diversity Institute at this year’s European Policy Dialogue Forum on Refugees and Migrants where she moderated a panel about countering hate speech and embracing diversity in Europe. You can watch her contribution by following this link

Media Diversity Institute’s Western Balkans Director, Ivana Jelaca spoke about youth initiatives to counter hate speech in Europe at an event hosted by the United Religions Initiative. She also represented MDI at a UNESCO panel on youth and online harmful content.

Reporting Diversity Network 2.0 hosted a Western Balkans training for trainers in Belgrade for CSOs; grass-root activists; human rights defenders; journalists and editors. This workshop was designed to equip participants with capacities, channels, resources and methods to engage more effectively and actively in countering hate speech targeting marginalised and vulnerable groups in the region.

Our project Get The Trolls Out! is cooperating with Community Media Forum Europe and a group of community media organisations across Europe to produce audio-visual content on issues that emerge from the project’s media monitoring, and to present fresh perspectives and counter-narratives. The most recent episode explored the ban of the hijab in Germany. You can watch it by following this link.

Nobel Peace Prize

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression”. MDI has had the privilege of collaborating for years with Novaya Gazeta funded and edited by Muratov.

This news comes at a time when journalism is under attack. MDI stresses the importance of professional journalism, diversity and inclusion, and our joint fight against propaganda, disinformation and hate speech.