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Social media discussions in North Africa

Participants after the opening of the international workshop 28th – 29th of November (Souhir Chaabani, CAWTAR journalist)

Journalists and researchers from Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Norway met in Tunisia 28th – 29th of November to discuss “Social Networks and Freedom: Challenges of the Maghreb”.

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Safety training in Uganda

The trainers and their students in Uganda

JMIC staff Abeer Saady and Marte Hoiby have conducted the first training in safety for journalists and students at Makerere University in Uganda.

Dominic Kango Amos from South Sudan was the local assistant during the training. The 20 participants were journalist students from different levels.

The two day training was focused on risk management, conflict reporting, situation awareness, topical issues in the region and ethical issues – with many examples and exercises.

The participants were enthusiastic in their feedback – most of them rated the training as excellent, and some even wrote that they will be able to train journalists now.

ICORN resident writers – are also journalists

Last week, writers from all over Norway gathered in Oslo. They share being persecuted in their own countries, and have found a safe place in one of Norway’s cities of refuge, through ICORN. Some of them are journalists, too, and JMIC had a small workshop with ten writers-journalists discussing experiences, job opportunities and journalism in Norway.

Conference opened on the International Day to end Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

The Conference “Safety of journalists covering conflict & sensitive issues” opened 2. November with participants from 32 countries. Initially, the Secretary of state Tone Skogen from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that journalists were key agents of democracy and freedom and praised the partnership with HiOA. Furthermore, she emphasized the need to combat systemic impunity when it comes to assaults against journalists. She was joined by representatives from UNESCO (Rachel Pollack), Free Expression Foundation (Knut Olav Åmås), the Norwegian Union of Journalists (Eva Stabell) and Benedicte Giæver from NORCAP.

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Conference: Safety of journalists covering conflict & sensitive issues

The conference is organized by the research group MEKK and will have participants from 30 countries from all continents. Several plenaries on a wide range of issues, as well as appr 40 paper presentations will take place. In addition there will be a book launch (“Shared Horizons. Negotiating Journalism, Core Values and Cultural Diversities”) and a film screening (“Velvet Revolution”, on women journalists at risk). More news from the conference will follow.

Below: The conference Committee: Welcome!

Albania re-visited

Rune Ottosen to the right, Besnik Baka in the middle and Richard van der Brink to the left – with the new Albania book on the table.

As a former tourist in the country, Ottosen talked about his blindness for oppression. Together with Besnik Baka, an Albanian journalist and translator, he has documented oppression, political assassinations and imprisonment during the regime of Enver Hoxha.

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Renewed support for journalist education

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given JMIC a grant that will enable us to continue the activities with partners in the Global South planned for the next two years.

JMIC´s aim is to build institutions for democracy and freedom of expression: ”Support of good practices in journalist education, independent media in vulnerable countries, protection of journalists working in conflict zones and journalists’ access to information. ”

In the coming year, several activities are planned. A workshop on extremism and social media is planned this autumn in Tunisia – as well as a regional security course next year. A regional security course is also planned in Uganda.

In cooperation with the Article 19 offices in North Africa, Eastern Africa and South Asia regional workshops on access to information are planned in Tunisia, Kenya and Nepal. We will also strengthen the cooperation with UNESCO.

The Rig on press freedom will be introduced in Palestine, a conference on gender and media is scheduled in South Asia, and cooperation will continue in Iran and Afghanistan. Besides, a regional cooperation project on visual journalism in China will continue. Development of teaching material is an ongoing activity, and a web portal will be prioritized.

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Terror in the media

Media researchers Rune Ottosen, Walid Al-Saqaf and Stig Arne Nohrstedt at the conference in Kalmar 9 May

The truck attack in Stockholm 7 April was the starting point at the international conference Journalism in a world of terrorism organised by the Media Institute Fojo and The Linnaeus University in Kalmar in Sweden 9 – 11 May.

The Head of news in Swedish Television (SVT), Ulf Johansson, told about the reactions and the editorial dilemmas after the attack. Media researcher Walid Al-Saqaf presented the findings about how Twitter was used extensively through #openstockholm.

Suvojit Bandopadhyaya broadened the perspective with a presentation about terrorists and their tactical use of social media platforms. Daya Thussu held a keynote speech about (Mis)Representing Terrorism in Global Media.

Exiled Can Dündar, former editor of the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, could unfortunately only join on skype to tell about what happens in his country. Finally Courtney C. Radsh in the Committee to Protect Journalists gave an overview of Journalism in the Age of Terrorism.

The international conference for media-researchers and journalists continued with workshops and panel discussions for two more days in Kalmar. Read more

New book about what cell phones means to refugees

An increasingly important traveling companion for people fleeing is the cell phone. It is a friend who provides many kinds of services during long and dangerous journeys from war and persecution. In these stories, the cell phone forms the core, woven into the larger stories of the lives of the eighteen interviewed. The book shows how important modern technology can be in precarious situations in which people are at the mercy of traffickers, police, border guards and changing weather conditions. Through this, stories about the journey and life in “no man’s land” between absolute insecurity and relative safety, are told. Two of the authors look back on their flight ten years ago when technology played a somewhat smaller role, yet the situations that arose were equally harsh.

Read about the event in Khrono (in Norwegian only)

 

 

 

Students from seven countries for MA-course in conflict journalism

From South Sudan, Nepal, Iran, Pakistan and Palestine 13 students have arrived in Oslo to attend a course in journalism on globalization, war and peace at HiOA together with 11 students based in Norway.

The course will run from 16 January until 3 February. The students will learn different theories on globalization and conflict, the processes of media globalization and journalistic performances in war and conflicts.

Their teachers are JMIC staff Elisabeth Eide, Rune Ottosen, Kristin Skare Orgeret and Roy Krøvel, as well as editor Nawzat Shamdin from Iraq and the independent journalist Anders Sømme Hammer, who has done extensive work in Afghanistan – among others.

The students already have bachelor´s degrees, and will write a term paper or a reportage as part of their exam. More information about the course is available here.