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News & Events
Twitter Claims It is Cracking Down on Hate Speech. But is All Hate Speech Treated Equally? PDF Print

23 July 2019

Country: Global

by: Giulia Dessi

Screen_Shot_2019-07-23_at_11.54.24_AMOver the past few months, major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been under increasing pressure to monitor and remove hateful, potentially dangerous content from their platforms. Many have taken this criticism into account; Facebook recently announced that it would treat all white supremacy messages with the same vigilance as terrorism content, while Twitter amended its hate speech policies to include anything that dehumanizes a group of people, with specific attention to anti-religious hatred.

However, while both have taken positive steps in the right direction, how hate speech is assessed on each platform remains unclear, making it difficult to monitor whether or not policy changes are having an effect. It is nearly impossible to assess whether or not this effect is equal across regions and languages, meaning that hateful content could be more vigilantly policed in some countries than in others.

 
How Not To Report on Climate Change PDF Print

23 July 2019

Country: United Kingdom

by: Eline Jeanné

Screen_Shot_2019-07-23_at_11.46.27_AMIt seems that climate change is finally becoming a mainstream issue. For so long scientists have beat the drum, warning about the extreme damage that humans are causing the earth, but it has taken some time for the media to give the issue the attention it deserves.

One of the ways that this issue has made it into the press is through coverage of climate movements, specifically the Extinction Rebellion movement in London. For ten days in April, activists shut down major roads in the city, gluing themselves to trains and protesting in front of the Shell headquarters building, demanding that society and politicians to face the facts of climate change. The theatrics of the events successfully made headlines, pushing a long-overdue conversation about climate change into the mainstream media. While this increase in coverage is encouraging and much-needed, there was one thing missing: diversity.

 
Indian Journalist Vinod K Jose Asks #DefendMediaFreedom Organizers To Apply Their Principles to India PDF Print

17 July 2019

Country: United Kingdom

Screen_Shot_2019-07-17_at_12.31.54_PMAt the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s conference on International Media Freedom earlier this month, Indian journalist and editor of Caravan Magazine Dr. Vinod K Jose presented about the rise of anti-religious lynch mobs across India.

“You can’t have more diversity than you have in India,” he said, beginning his panel by presenting a background on India's rich history of housing many different religions, whose freedom of belief is enshrined by several different articles in the country's constitution.

 
Announcement: Rose-Marie Farinella Awarded Top Honour in France PDF Print

17 July 2019

Country: France

IMG_0567Media and Information Literacy Educator Rose-Marie Farinella is being honoured with the “Legion of Honour” award this week, the highest order in France.

A journalist-turned-teacher, Farinella is known throughout the education world for her fight against “fake news” and innovative ways to educate children as young as ten years old in how to identify information, verify the sources, and understand the context of online news media. She developed her curriculum for over five years, and has been recognized at the SaferInternet4EU, UNESCO's Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy Week in Kingston, Jamaica, the National Congress of Digital Culture and MIL in Lyon, France, the Innovative Teacher’s Forum in Paris, France, and the French Annual Congress for Journalism in Tours, France.

 
Event: Religion and the Media: Telling the Untold Story PDF Print

Date: 10-11 July 2019

Country: UK

Screen_Shot_2019-07-15_at_2.29.21_PMLast week, Media Diversity Institute was honored to join the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s International Media Freedom Conference. In addition to joining thirty-two other organisations in putting forward a list of demands towards participating governments, MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic joined a panel titled, “Religion and the Media: Telling the Untold Story.”

“If politicians come with a nasty discourse, journalists need it give it some context,” said MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic, making the point that journalists often craft their articles around quotes from political figures, and—when those political figures are known for hateful rhetoric—make their media outlets into a de-facto propaganda outlet.

 
Is the Far Right’s Crackdown on Gender Studies A Threat to Democracy? PDF Print

Date: 11 July 2019

Country: Europe

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Screen_Shot_2019-07-11_at_10.04.34_AMLast year, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban became the first European leader to ban gender studies, arguing that the discipline is an ideology, rather than a science and should not receive university accreditation.

Since then, there has been a worldwide assault on gender and gender studies, fueled largely by divisive media coverage and the rising political power of the far right. While no one else has quite reached the point of banning gender studies, Germany’s Alternatives for Deutscheland Party has pledged to follow Orban’s example, claiming that it disrupts family values. Italian national media smeared a sociologist for conducting research on gender and bullying, effectively shutting down his research. Even Sweden has seen its secretariat for Gender Research evacuated, due to a suspicious package.

 
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