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Black History Month: Is Blackfishing A Sinister, Millennial Form Of Blackface? PDF Print

15 October 2019

Country: Global

by: Sofia Ferreira Santos

BlackPhisingBy now, most of the world can agree that “Blackface” is racist and wrong. But what about blackfishing?

Derived from the term “catfishing”—Internet slang for pretending to be someone you are not online—“blackfishing” refers to the growing practice of white social media influencers using self-tanner, makeup and plastic surgery to project a black, or mixed race aesthetic online. As we celebrate Black History Month, it is important to investigate how this relatively recent phenomenon is capitalising on black culture, while completely disregarding black history.

It is no secret that online influencing is becoming a more and more lucrative profession; however, instead of following traditional standards of beauty that dictate the perfect woman as a skinny white blonde, apps like Instagram have allowed communities of colour to carve out a space for ourselves, sharing our own ideas of beauty online. We have been able to create our own online communities of positivity and support that prioritise our cultures, like the infamous ‘black Twitter. These communities subvert traditional societal hierarchies by placing the needs and wants of people of colour first.

 
Missing The Story: How the Indonesian Media Covers the Student Protests PDF Print

14 October 2019

Country: Indonesia

By: Yearry Panji Setianto

4608795889_d1f096e6ca_cLast month, thousands of students across Indonesia took to the streets to demand the government to revoke a controversial anti-corruption law and postpone revisions of several proposed bills. Protests have carried on for weeks, and are being called one of the biggest student rallies after the 1998 movement that toppled former President Suharto’s thirty year regime.

However, there is a marked difference in how international media covers the protests, as compared to local Indonesian media. What is more, the Indonesian media chose to cover the protests themselves, as opposed to why the citizens are protesting.

International news outlets are focussing on the new penal code mentioning that the bill could be used to criminalize premarital sexual activities and persecute members of the LGBT community. BBC’s headline “Indonesia protests over sex before marriage bill,” and Al Jazeera’s article, “Indonesia’s president delays vote on law banning extramarital sex” showcased how the international media chose to focus on the government’s proposals to criminalize premarital sex and what is being called a "gay sex ban” is overshadowing the protestor’s anti-corruption narrative.

 
Fake News, Cultural Appropriation and Security: A New Year on the MA Diversity and the Media Course. PDF Print

14 October 2019

Country: UK

by: Eline Jeanné

MDI_MA_Course_2019Students on the Diversity and the Media MA course have just wrapped on their third week of classes. Over the course of one year, they will be introduced to a range of theories and practical skills on topics such as inclusive journalism and approaches to social and cultural diversity. Hosted at the University of Westminster and developed in collaboration with the Media Diversity Institute, the course has been running since 2011. A lot has changed in the media landscape since then, and with that, the course has adapted too. We sat down with course leader Dr Roza Tsagarousianou to learn which current topics are being explored on the course.

The core module in semester 1 explores various theoretical attempts to make sense and deal intellectually with social and cultural diversity. Dr Tsagarousianou utilises examples to show how these theories impact on what is currently happening: “There is quite a lot of discussion about nationalism and national identity, not only because of Trump but with also with Brexit and what has happened in India. Generally there is more discussion about racism, nationalism and populism than there was before.”

 
MDI Team at UNESCO MIL Conference 2019 PDF Print

Dates: 24 – 26 September 2019

Country: Sweden, Gothenburg

MILWeek2019GotenbergAt this year’s UNESCO Global Media and Information literacy conference, Media Diversity Institute (MDI) sent two of its representatives to contribute to the discussion and exchange of ideas and best practices at the event held on 24-26 September in Gothenburg, Sweden.

We at the Media Diversity Institute believe that media literacy is an essential skill for the 21st century,” said MDI Western Balkan Director Ivana Jelača. She pointed out that the critical analysis of the media, access to information and independent creation of the media content are crucial for securing media freedom in any society. At the UNESCO panel Jelača was joined by the most prominent media literacy experts such as professor Ulla Carlsson, UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Expression, Media Development and Global Policy who promoted her publication “Understanding Media and Information Literacy in the Digital Age”, Anette Novak from the Swedish Media Council and professor Anubhuti Yadav from the Indian Institute for Mass Communication.

 
“Sanctions Would Show the Non-Democratic Governments that the International Community Cares About Independent Media” MDI at the United Nations Ministerial Meeting on Media Freedom PDF Print

9 October 2019

Country: United States, Western Balkans

By: Mikhail Yakovlev

AmalClooneyRecently, MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic attended the Ministerial Meeting on Media Freedom. Hosted in the margins of the 2019 UN General Assembly, the meeting brought together government representatives and other press freedom stakeholders. The key question was: how can we promote and protect media freedom worldwide?

Hosted by Tariq Ahmad, UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth, the United Nations and South Asia, the Ministerial Meeting on Media Freedom kicked off by recounting the rising work-related dangers faced by journalists around the world, from Saudi Arabia to Hong Kong.

The statistics are truly frightening. According to Researchers without Borders, 348 journalists had been detained, 80 killed, 60 held hostage and 3 had gone missing in 2018 alone. And this figure is an understatement. Crimes against journalists often go unreported due to censorship and media restrictions.

 
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