European news is dominated by white, middle aged men. While men over the age of 40 feature in three-quarters of news stories, women are the protagonists in only a quarter of news, according to new research. Migrants, immigrants, disabled and other minorities have mainly secondary or minor roles. Mediane, a project set up to study how to increase diversity in European media, has called for urgent changes in the way journalists are trained and recruited. It has also concluded that sources of information, and news experts, must be diversified to better reflect contemporary society.
Mediane (Media in Europe for Diversity and Inclusiveness) is a joint Council of Europe and European Union initiative, held over two years, between 2013 and 2014. It found that women represent half of Europe’s population yet they feature in only about 25 per cent of published news, even less – five per cent – in economic and scientific news. Migrants, representing about 10 per cent of Europe’s population, feature in only about five per cent of news, according to data from the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC).
The European Journalism Observatory is pleased to announce the launch of its newest partner website, EJO Portugal.
The Portuguese language website, coordinated by Professor Gustavo Cardoso and Ana Pinto Martinho, from the Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL), aims to publish information on journalism and media for Portuguese speaking countries, including Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau.
The new website will provide a space to foster discussion, dissemination and networking between media professionals and researchers. The editorial sections cover themes such as: Business Models; Digital News; Ethics and Deonthology; Research; Media Literacy; Press Freedom and Censorship; Media and Politics; and Social Media and Journalism.
The journalism and media research community, spread over 12 portuguese-speaking countries, are all invited to contribute with their articles, insights, analysis and opinions.
The Portuguese Website is funded by IPPS-IUL, and it is operated by CIES-IUL and the Media and Communications Lab (LCC-IUL).
Stephan Russ-Mohl, Professor of Journalism and Media Management at the Università della Svizzera Italiana, founded the EJO network in 2004. He welcomed the Portuguese website:
“Having a prestigious Portuguese partner is a huge step ahead for EJO. Interesting journalism research and best practice examples become accessible and visible for newsrooms and media experts in another large region of the world inside and outside Europe. We will continue to provide excellent journalism about journalism and the news media, and we think that our “network” approach is opening minds and providing fresh insights across cultural and language barriers.”
The launch of the Portuguese website means the EJO network is now made up of eleven websites across Europe: Albanian, Czech, English, German, Italian, Latvian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian and Ukrainian. The network aims to forge connections between journalism cultures across Europe and the US. It promotes dialogue between media researchers and practitioners and brings the results of media research to the people who deal with and work in the media.
It aims to improve the quality of journalism, contribute to a richer understanding of media, and to foster press freedom and media accountability.
This article has been amended.
A newspaper editor in Tajikistan is locked in a legal battle with academics over her right to publish an opinion piece.
Olga Tutubalina, editor of the country’s most popular newspaper, Asia-Plus wrote an opinion-based blog post on the newspaper’s website in May 2013 about a Tajik poet Bozor Sobir who had once been a vocal critic of the country’s government, but had recently changed his stance. Sobir lived in the USA for over 20 years but had recently returned to Tajikistan.
Tutubalina suggested that the poet’s opinion of the government had been affected by the fact that he had been warmly welcomed back by the country’s president. She used a quote , supposedly by Vladimir Lenin, who compares intelligentsia to ‘feces of society’. Read more
The European Union’s proposal to strengthen national media self-regulatory bodies has triggered a new debate on whether or not regulatory institutions carry out their tasks effectively and efficiently. A Europe-wide research project “Media Accountability and Transparency in Europe” (MediaAcT) polled journalists from 14 countries to see how effective media regulation is, and how it should change. This report outlines some of the preliminary findings.
Digital rights deserve just as much protection as the fundamental rights according to the European Parliament in Strasburg, which recently endorsed a report on “Digital Freedom Strategy in Foreign Policy.” The Dutch Member of Parliament, Marietje Schaake – undoubtedly the most “wired” politician in Europe – introduced the report which will hopefully influence future European policy in the field of digital freedom and the Internet. The report, approved in Strasburg with a wide majority, lays out many concrete initiatives which, if formally adopted by the Union, will make Europe one of the most progressive regions for rights in the digital sphere. In fact, the report affirms that “uncensored access to the open Internet, mobile phones and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have impacted human rights and fundamental freedoms, exerting an enabling effect by expanding the scope of freedom of expression, access to information, the right to privacy and freedom of assembly across the world.”
Presentation of the report in the Parliament’s plenary meeting
Journalists arrested, netizens remanded to trial. A petition calls on EU authorities to intervene as the media in Athens faces a new season of menace.
Economic crisis is bearing down hard in the Hellenic country. Ongoing violence continues to rattle the capital while the nation remains far from uncovering a definitive solution to its economic woes. Newspapers all over the world reported on recent strikes and anti-austerity protests in Athens as parliament discusses a new €13.5 billion austerity package, yet there’s another matter of concern: freedom of speech. Index On Censorship has denounced “multiple instances of censorship and attacks on the press” and “systematic efforts to curtail media freedom” since the tension began. Kostas Vaxevanis’s story is emblematic of the precarious atmosphere among media outlets in Greece.
*Article courtesy of the European Journalism Centre
The Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, addressed this question in a keynote to a European Parliament Seminar on Media Freedom in the EU Member States in May. In short, she made the following points:
- The practical, economic, cultural and legal framework conditions for media pluralism and press freedom vary massively from one Member State to another and thus cannot all be painted with one brush;
- If the EU were to take pluralism-related action at all, it must not focus on bad examples in particular Member States (such as most recently Hungary, or Italy a few years ago), but go for an overarching and universal approach;
- Member States have so far not vested the EU with the power directly to defend media freedom in the first place, at least not within the Member States themselves;
- The issue is aggravated by the fact that journalism, perhaps the most relevant aspect of media pluralism, is currently going through profound changes brought on by the Internet, and the outcome of such changes is yet unknown; Read more