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”.
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.
Elisabeth Eide gave a keynote at a conference with the above title at the University of Utrecht, Holland. She presented elements of the history of media coverage of Muslim women in Norway, and a very recent study on the media coverage of “The Shameless Girls” – a new network of young women challenging honour and shame cultures.
In end February/early March, Dagny Stuedahl and Elisabeth Eide visited partner institution Faculty of Communication Sciences and Media Studies at Islamic Azad University (IAU) in Teheran. A workshop was held on Media and Climate Change – and on Peace Journalism, with colleagues from Afghanistan. The attendance was good and the discussion lively and creative, demonstrating that media pay too little attention to climate change perils – and to peaceful solutions to conflict.
JMIC’s representatives also visited the newspaper belonging to the IAU, and ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency), and were received by Prof. Hamid Mirzadeh, President of the whole university, which has more than 1.5 million students, at home and abroad.
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)