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News & Events
Sadfishing: a New Phenomenon Affecting Young People Online PDF Print

9 December 2019

Country: Global

By: Eline Jeanné

GirlIt is no secret that many young people today face a whole new world of influence and pressures through online platforms. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok: these and many more platforms have been added to young people’s media diet, along with the benefits and consequences that come with them. New online phenomenon’s seem to crop up on a weekly basis, but one in particular has recently received a significant, and worthy, amount of attention: Sadfishing.

Sadfishing is when someone is accused of ‘fishing’ for likes and online sympathy through sharing their distress and unhappiness on social media platforms. The trend, which is believed to have been started by Kendal Jenner, was originally seen to be used to hook an audience for publicity and monetary reasons, like driving traffic to a site. Earlier this year, Jenner teased that she was ready to reveal her “most raw story yet.” Social media erupted with speculation around Jenner’s emotional secret, which turned out to be her struggles with acne. The problem: Jenner had just signed a deal with skin care brand Proactiv and used her emotionally charged social media posts to advertise their products.

CIVIS Media Prize: Migration, Integration and Cultural Diversity. PDF Print

Deadline: 21 January 2020

The CIVIS MEDIA PRIZE 2020 is now accepting submissions.

Screen_Shot_2019-12-09_at_12.49.27_PMEuropean programmes exploring the topics of migration, integration and cultural diversity are invited to enter.

A new addition to the 2020 competition is the topic of democratic culture – with a particular focus on the fault lines of an integrative society, the media representation of socially neglected groups, growing inequality or the failure to accept the immigration society as a given.

CIVIS again recognizes the best programme contributions in film, television, radio and the Internet, which are particularly suitable for the promotion of the peaceful coexistence of people of different geographic or cultural backgrounds.

CIVIS is also concerned with the further development of our democratic, integrative and culturally diverse society. CIVIS is taking a stand against authoritarian, nationalist developments: against racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. 

By awarding prizes to exemplary programmes, journalists and media professionals are encouraged to present the reality of life in the immigration society in all their programmes, without denying its conflicts. It is about equivalence, recognition and participation in social opportunities, regardless of national, ethnic or religious origin. The price structure of the CIVIS Media Awards 2020 is even more clearly assigned to the AUDIO and VIDEO segments.

Please find our conditions of participation online at:

Your registration for the competition must be made online

Invitation to the competition as download:

Silence Hate: Final Conference PDF Print

Event: 18 November 2019

Country: Brussels, Belgium

Screen_Shot_2019-12-09_at_10.41.00_AMThe Media Diversity Institute (MDI) and its partners marked the end of the project Silence Hate by gathering at the final conference in Brussels on 18 November 2019.

After two years with five national workshops in schools, 30 young journalists and civil society activists have been trained and produced 14 journalistic pieces which are available online. The final event concluded that partners and participants should continue raising awareness about the issues surrounding online hate speech against migrants and refugees in a more systematic way.

During the panel moderated by MDI’s Dasha Ilic, one of the journalists involved in the project, Sotiris Sideris sharply pointed out the problem:

“Too often journalists talk about refugees, but they don’t listen to them and don’t give them a voice,” he said. Sideris and his Greek colleague Aristea Protonotariou were both trained at the beginning of the project at the Media Camp in London, and went on to produce a series of podcasts titled, “A voice to the voiceless” focusing on stories that are unseen, underreported or undocumented by the mainstream media.

One of the panelists at the conference in Brussels was the Al Jazeera European correspondent, Laurence Lee, who emphasised journalists’ responsibility when reporting politicians’ discourses. He said that hate speech was used for profit-making like a viable business model.

“Editors consider the stories interesting only if there are some elements of threats and jeopardies in it,” he said. However, Milan Zubíček from Google denied the fact that hate sells and can be used as a business model. Initiatives like Stop Funding Hate were showcased as successful practices encouraging advertisers to stop funding newspapers that produce hateful content targeting migrants and refugees.


On the wider scale, MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic called for greater stakeholder involvement in fighting hate against refugees and migrants. Tommaso Chiamparino, the European Commission’s coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred, confirmed the institution’s commitment to fighting hate speech. Chiamparino made an open call for collaboration with journalists to continue raising awareness of the impact of hate speech on media freedom and communities.

At the final conference, and throughout the project, many shared good practices with how to deal with hate speech, particularly from an educational point of view. At one point, MDI organised two master-classes at City University in London for journalism students, as well as a panel featuring journalists and media experts. MDI has also produced a module for journalism students, civil society activists and those who want to combat hate speech against migrants and refugees.

The Silence Hate project was led by COSPE and alongside with MDI, other partners were Amnesty International Italy, Amnesty International Poland, KARPOS, Zaffiria, IKME. Check out the resources here.

A Nazi Song Cover Gets 9/10 for a Secondary School Assignment in Argentina PDF Print

3 December 2019

Country: Argentina

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Trigger Warning: this article mentions extreme anti-Semitic content.

Screen_Shot_2019-12-03_at_2.56.08_PMMost people who lived through the late nineties and early two-thousands will remember Aqua’s notoriously “infectious” camp classic Barbie Girl. Topping the charts on release, Barbie Girl has inspired numerous covers and questionable parodies in the years since. But, things took an abhorrent turn last week when it emerged that a group of Argentinian high-schoolers produced a parody, titled “Nazi Girl”.

The Danish original itself features highly questionable lyrics, like:

You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere

Final Conference - Disability: A Matter of Perception PDF Print

Event: 2 December 2019

Country: Macedonia

EKx-9AqWwAAtk85One day before the International Day of People with Disabilities, Media Diversity Institute (MDI) Western Balkans hosted the closing conference of our project, Disability: A Matter of Perception.

Disability: A Matter of Perception is a two year project in Macedonia, where we worked with Macedonian Institute for Media, National Council of People with Disability Organizations of Macedonia to train journalists and civil society organizations to revitalize the media as an essential space for marginalized groups. Over the course of two years, we organized trainings that resulted in numerous media articles and broadcasts, inspired interactive performances, and orchestrated campaigns that challenged stereotypes in Macedonia.

MDI at ARIJ 2019: Storytelling to Cure Social Divisions PDF Print

Event: November 22-24

Location: Jordan

Screen_Shot_2019-11-28_at_2.19.49_AMLast week, Media Diversity Institute gave a workshop titled, “Storytelling to Cure Social Divisions” to the ICFJ (International Center for Journalists) Fellows at the ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) conference in Amman, Jordan.

“How does disinformation play out in your countries?”, asked Communications Manager Anna Lekas Miller, who lead the workshop. In recent months, both Iraq and Lebanon have experienced social uprisings which has lead to unprecedented levels of both disinformation, and disinformation debunking.

“Let’s talk about how this is playing out—and how it impacts diversity?

The discussion that ensued showed the diversity of the ICFJ MENA fellows present. In Yemen, the local media promoted rumors about Jewish minorities so much, that most of Yemen’s Jews fled to Israel, shared on participant. In Sudan, rumors about female journalists circulate on WhatsApp groups, making it almost impossible to get any accountability if something happens to them, shared another.

After the workshop, participants were equipped with the skills to recognize the ways in which disinformation preys on social divisions in their countries.

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