JMICs two-day conference on the above topic took place earlier this week, with appr. 30 speakers and panellists. The participants represented a diversity of views and experiences, which was demonstrated both by the Scandinavian variety when it comes to the #metoo campaign and treatment of right-wing extremists, to a discussion on the invitation of Steve Bannon to the Nordic Media Days in Bergen. Experiences from countries where giving platform to extremists entails mainstreaming terrorists (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tunisia, etc.) were exchanged. War reporters discussed the challenge of embedding and giving voice to jihadists. And a lively conversation with Peter Münster from Facebook took place after screening the film “The Cleaners”.
Keynote speaker Eric Heinze discussed in-depth arguments for and against No platforming.
A short text cannot pay justice to such a full program. The organizers will consider a publication from this conference.
The department of journalism and media studies supported by JMIC today honoured the Press Freedom day with a keynote on cartoons and free expression, a panel discussion and a film screening. Even if Norway is top ranked in the annual list from Reporters Without Borders, the panel mentioned several issues of concern, such as threats and harassment against journalists, political propositions which limit access to information and journalist autonomy, and surveillance. These factors also open for more journalists exercising a proportion of self censorship, which is a frightening development.
Sidsel Avlund from NRK (Public Broadcasting) presented a survey showing that almost a third of their journalists (29 percent) had experienced harassment, threats etc., and that many of them did not even speak about this to others.
Panel from left to right: Arne Jensen, President of Norwegian Editors Union; Per Elvestuen, Director of Oslo Freedom Forum and cartoonist; Elin Floberghagen, Norwegian Press Association; and Sidsel Avlund, from the Norwegian Public Broadcasting, responsible for journalist safety.
This year’s Master course in Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace at the OsloMet Metropolitan University had students from Russia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Estonia, Morocco and Norway.
During three intense weeks in Norway filled with lectures, visits to Aftenposten and NRK, cultural program and the yearly conference of The Norwegian Foundation for a Free and Investigative Press (SKUP, Stiftelsen for en Kritisk og Undersøkende Presse) the students discussed safety and security, extremism, migration and more, from different angels and experiences.
The course, Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace, aims at developing advanced competence when it comes to critical research traditions related to post-colonial studies, for example Orientalism and Occidentalism critique, theories of nation and identities, migrancy and transnationalism. Students will also acquire competence in analyzing the links between globalization processes and ethnical dimensions within and between nations and regions. The role of safety for journalists covering war and conflicts is central to the course.
No Platforming has been much debated across the world due to instances, where individuals have been barred from participating as university speakers, in public panels, and other fora. Opponents to No platforming highlight the dangers of muting controversial voices and fear it can undermine free expression. This conference attempts to address some of the controversies in open and constructive exchanges, and has invited speakers and panelists from several countries, representing a variety of views and experiences.
A two day workshop on access to information as a journalistic tool was organized by Article 19 Bangladesh and South Asia and JMIC in Dhaka last week.
The 22 participants came from all over the country, and work on different media platforms.
The Norwegian ambassador Sidsel Bleken opened the workshop. Present were also two former Chief Information Commissioners, diplomats, editors, teachers and journalists. The main trainer was the investigative journalist Julfikar Ali Manik, who is a stringer for The New York Times.
Rune Ottosen and Elisabeth Eide have lectured and participated in the International Conference on Media and Conflict (ICMC), invited by the Pakistan Peace Collective, held at Bahria University in Islamabad. The two day conference 26 and 27 February was inaugurated by the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif ur Rehman Alvi, and three other federal ministers also visited the conference, which could not have been more timely, considering the tense situation between Pakistan and neighbouring India. Several prominent scholars and journalists spoke on the occasion, among them Mr. Zafar Abbas, editor of Dawn newspaper, reporter Hamid Mir (Geo News), and Ms. Quatrina Hosein (PPC collective). Mr. Iqbal Lala from Mardan, father of journalism student Mashal Khan at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, who was brutally murdered on 13 April 2017 after fake allegations of posting blasphemous content online, received a particularly warm welcome by the audience. Among the themes were Peace journalism; Media coverage of terrorist attacks; Media perspectives on religious violence; Minority, violence and media; Psychological effects of conflict reporting; Social media and hate speech; Fake news and hybrid warfare. The conference was covered by several media, including PTV.
The Association of Media And Communication Academics and Professionals (AMCAP) held its fourth conference in Islamabad on 28 February. Professors Rune Ottosen and Elisabeth Eide were invited as keynote speakers at this occasion, hosted by SZABIST University in Islamabad. The participants were warmly welcomed by Head of Campus Dr. Khusro Pervaiz Khan and by Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, President of Szabist University and former Minister of State of Education. Appr. 50 research papers were presented and commented by a wide range of academics as well as students. Ottosen lectured about the need for education in war and peace journalism, while Eide emphasized the need to take education in environment and climate change journalism seriously. The conference thanked Dr. Bushra Rehman, President of AMCAP, and Vice President Abida Ashraf for their professional and continuous efforts promoting the association and making the conference a success.