Political influence and direct or indirect control over the media, as well as smear campaigns, threats and violence against journalists, have caused the media environment to deteriorate in most countries in the Balkans, the latest Human Rights Reports prepared by the US State Department says.
Its report about Serbia observed: “Although independent media organizations continued to exist and express a wide range of views, press organizations and international monitors claimed government pressure on media was deepening.” It added: “There were reports that the government actively sought to direct media reporting on a number of issues.”
In Albania, misuse of the media by their owners is emphasised as a major issue.
“Most owners of private television stations used the content of their broadcasts to influence government action toward their other businesses. Political pressure, corruption, and lack of funding constrained independent print media, and journalists reportedly practiced self-censorship,” the report noted.
“Independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of viewpoints, although there were efforts to exert direct and indirect political and economic pressure on the media, including by threats and violence against journalists who tried to investigate crime and corruption,” it added.
The section on Albania emphasises also threats by the country’s telecommunications authority to shut down websites, BIRN’s Albanian-language publication Reporter.al, and the defamation lawsuits filed by Judge Gjin Gjoni against BIRN Albania and Shqiptarja.com newspaper journalists.
Both cases were adjourned by a first-instance court because the plaintiffs failed to appear in most of the hearings.
Direct and indirect control of the media by politicians is reported as a key problem in Romania.
“While independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of views without overt restriction, politicians or persons with close ties to politicians and political groups either owned or indirectly controlled numerous media outlets at the national and local levels,” the report said.
“The news and editorial stance of these outlets frequently reflected their owners’ views and targeted criticism at political opponents and other media organizations,” it added.
Unlike other countries, the report says the media climate in North Macedonia has improved.
“While outlets and reporting continued to be largely divided along political lines, the number of independent media voices actively expressing a variety of views without overt restriction increased,” it said.
Oligarchic control of the media is the issue in Moldova, the report said.
“While the print media expressed diverse political views and commentary, oligarch-controlled business groups that distorted information for their benefit controlled most of the country’s media, albeit with some notable exceptions,” the report noted.
“Oligarchs closely supervised content and maintained editorial control over reporting from the outlets they owned,” it added.
The State Department warned that Montenegrin authorities performed poorly in prosecuting organised crime-related killings, but in the last year it increased its prosecutions of homicide cases linked to organised crime.
It also noted that NGOs pointed out that a number of police officers in Montenegro have been found responsible for violating the rules of their service, including cases of excessive use of force while on duty.
In its section on Montenegro, the report also highlighted that “attacks directed at journalists continued to be a serious problem,” adding that that independent and pro-opposition media have complained about unfair treatment and economic pressure from government ministries and agencies.
When it comes to Kosovo, the report listed attacks against Serbs among problems in the country.
“In the first seven months of the year, there were more than 100 incidents involving thefts, break-ins, verbal harassment, and damage to the property of Kosovo Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church,” the report said.
It also noted endemic corruption in the ranks of Kosovo’s government, and threats and attacks against journalists.
The US Department of State has published yearly human rights reports since 1977 and they cover a wide range of issues, including freedom of the media and freedom of expression.
Earlier this year, the NGO Freedom House downgraded Serbia’s status from Free to Partly Free, along with Hungary.
Portrayal matters in film and TV, and Canada hasn’t made such an incredible showing with regards to with it. That is one end that left Next Gen: Catalyst for Change in Canadian Storytelling, a two-day meeting facilitated by Sheridan College in association with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) from November 2 to 3.
The gathering planned to give a space to talking about how media researchers and teachers, and also the film and broadcast business, can more readily encourage and bolster differing Canadian narrating. The primary day at TIFF’s Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto concentrated on rising youthful makers, while the second day at Sheridan’s Oakville grounds included workshops, boards and roundtables focused on media training.
“Schools are regularly not a piece of the network of grant and research that colleges are, thus we were extremely excited to see that different colleges needed to come and be a piece of it,” says Kathleen Cummins, an educator in the workforce of activity, expressions and plan at Sheridan who co-composed the occasion with Sheridan’s Ronni Rosenberg and Maija Saari.
Sheridan has a long history in getting ready alumni for the film and broadcast business – first as a professional school and now with its particular four-year lone wolf’s program. Its workforce is a blend of industry experts with many years of experience and prepared, PhD-holding researchers – a blend that reached out to meeting moderators and registrants.
“Each [side] has diverse objectives and plans,” Dr. Cummins says. “In any case, what we met up on was connecting with youngsters, youthful makers and understudies in a way that makes them feel they have a voice and they additionally have a future.” Dr. Cummins herself exhibited a paper on “Destabilizing the Film Canons of “Old Dinosaurs,” which concentrated on her examination with Sheridan partner Maureen McKeon on the encounters of ladies in the school’s film program.
“We were stunned by the way that the discoveries in STEM around sexual orientation portrayal are fundamentally the same as our discoveries from the film and media business,” Dr. Cummins says in regards to the progressing venture. The acknowledgment made her begin constructing a course schedule in her history of film class that was more agent of the understudy body.
The topic of portrayal proceeded all through the meeting. For instance, columnist Jody Anderson introduced “Assorted variety versus Inclusivity in J-School and Beyond,” a discussion that nitty gritty her and her partners’ encounters with bigotry as understudies in the news-casting program mutually offered by Centennial College and the University of Toronto. She additionally gave a rundown of ways postsecondary foundations and the business can accomplish more to be comprehensive.
“Ethnic minorities are advised to oblige or change themselves with the end goal to have a similar space,” Ms. Anderson clarifies. Rather, the individuals who control these spaces must attempt to grasp the inexorably differing gathering of individuals entering the field – and in excess of a shallow way. “We should be here for our extraordinary thoughts. It’s not just about us being Black, Indigenous, eccentric or whatever; it’s tied in with having more thoughts and points of view spoke to.”
Dr. Cummins includes that “it’s extremely essential for youngsters to students to feel that they have a place in the classroom and that they have a place in the field. When they don’t see themselves [in media] they really encounter sentiments of rejection.” Feeling unwelcome or prohibited, she notes, at that point impacts “how well somebody does in a program, how well they perform in a field and on the off chance that they even remain in that field.”
A week ago the Women’s Media Center held their yearly Women’s Media Awards, which perceived and regarded amusement changing ladies pioneers for their exceptional work in propelling ladies’ portrayal in the media.
On celebrity central, I had the chance to solicit numerous from the prominent participants and honorees—including Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Maxine Waters, Katie Couric, and the sky is the limit from there—to explain to me in their very own words why it’s so critical to have ladies’ voices in the media. Their reactions were loaded up with a feeling of desperation and assurance, presumably filled by the minute we are in where the press has been under assault and ladies’ political assembly is at an unequaled high.
For what reason do we require more ladies in media?
They recount stories in an unexpected way
Soledad O’Brien—three-time Emmy winning stay, CEO of Starfish Media, and past Women’s Media Center honoree—facilitated the occasion. “As a writer, I know how basic announcing and information are,” she said. “Who recounts the story is just as imperative as what the story seems to be—and frequently the previous decides the last mentioned.”
It’s essential for majority rule government
Jane Fonda, who helped to establish WMC in 2005 with Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan, let me know, “Something transformative is going on. Ladies’ voices, ladies’ accounts, ladies’ existence, and ladies’ stories could easily compare to ever on the grounds that, to be honest, in case we will take care of the issues, ladies need to lead the way. We’re not looking at making a matriarchy. We’re looking at making a majority rules system… . On the off chance that our story is forgotten then men lose, and additionally ladies. We as a whole must be fearless and battle for an autonomous media that comes clean.”
Robin Morgan likewise talked about popular government: “There are truly two factors in this nation on which vote based system itself depends: one of those components is a free solid press, and the other factor is the rising obvious political power of ladies, the two of which we are finding in this nation. What’s more, the Women’s Media Center stands comfortable crossing point.”
Ladies should be reflected not deleted
Gloria Steinem accentuated what an essential job media plays in forming our way of life, which makes the equivalent portrayal of ladies in media even more vital: “If ladies’ voices are not in the media, at that point ladies progress toward becoming deleted from society and culture. It’s urgent that the media report and reflect, not hide and misshape.”
Julie Burton, leader of the Women’s Media Center, concurred, saying: “Media is the most essential and amazing power we have. It characterizes us. It discloses to us our identity. It reveals to us our job in the public arena. It discloses to us what is important, it reveals to us who matters. It additionally reveals to us who has control. Each picture you see, each story that you read, each casing that a proofreader puts into a film shakes the story, and if ladies and minorities are not delegating in those accounts, it makes us not an agent in the public eye.” For this reason, Burton clarified, the Women’s Media Center is attempting to “put 50 percent of the narratives in the hands of ladies and to make ladies 50 percent of the specialists who are cited.”
It’s a matter of decent variety
Prestigious columnist Katie Couric revealed to me why having decent variety in media is so basic: “Media ought to reflect America, and we’re a gigantic assorted interwoven of individuals in this nation with various beneficial encounters, alternate points of view and with contrasts financially, topographically, ethnically, religiously. We have distinctive races, diverse sexual orientations, distinctive sex distinguishing proof. So I imagine that with the end goal to recount the narrative of America, you need to give all Americans a chance to be the storytellers.”
One of the honors of the night went to Lisa Borders, the principal President and CEO of Time’s Up and Retiring President of the National Women’s Basketball Association (WNBA), who got the WMC Carol Jenkins grant for the bunch ways she has brought solid, influential ladies into the spotlight, including being a backer for ladies competitors to give them physical and monetary open doors that were once accessible just to men. She let me know, “Media has a focal job, so it’s endless supply of us to ensure that we are sharing positive messages, and when we see the negative messages that we denounce them. It’s essential that we stand up all the time.”
Fringes proceeded to state, “Ladies are in excess of 52 percent of the populace in the US and in addition universally. Our voices ought to be esteemed. We can’t have people speaking to the nation without speaking to ladies. Empirical information illustrates, especially for organizations, that when you have an assorted authority group and different groups as a rule, that organizations perform better. So in the event that you need to ensure everybody achieves their maximum capacity, organizations, individuals, networks, nations, and landmasses have the right to have ladies at the table achieving our maximum capacity.”
Ladies bring an alternate state of mind
Abigail Disney—Emmy-winning chief and maker, giver, CEO and leader of Fork Films, originator of Level Forward—was given the WMC Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award for her documentaries and movies that have propelled ladies’ jobs in general society circle concentrating on social issues and spotlighting phenomenal individuals who talk truth to control.
Disney feels that ladies bring inventiveness and better approaches for speculation to the table, which benefits society all in all. She let me know, “We have to make valuable discussions. We have to make out of the huge profound opening that we’ve uncovered from underneath the absence of imagination. Struggle and viciousness and animosity and an extremely old-school method for understanding things have quite recently burrowed us more profound and more profound and more profound, so we require freshness and novelty and different mindsets,” she noted. “I used to think it was imperative [to have ladies in media] on the grounds that it was uncalled for. Presently I comprehend it’s imperative since it on a very basic level makes an alternate domain. Ladies bring an extremely imperative diverse method for understanding things. They have discussions longer, they are better on an agreement, they fabricate connections—and these are the things that make manageable, feasible quiet social orders.”
The media still covers ladies government officials in an unexpected way
Co-Chair of the Women’s Media Center and TEDWomen custodian Pat Mitchell disclosed to me how having more ladies in media will help in ensuring media inclusion of ladies lawmakers is equivalent to a man’s inclusion. She stated, “I recollect the Hillary battle and what number of individuals who didn’t vote in favor of her didn’t vote in favor of her due to what they read or found in the media. So you should simply take a gander at the results of the races to recognize what a mind-blowing sway the media has. So on the off chance that we realize it has that negative effect, and that it frames pictures, it shapes impressions, it shapes suppositions, and I trust it shapes cast a ballot. There’s simply no inquiry concerning it.”
Mitchell included, “regardless I’m angered when I perused the paper and read the manner in which ladies competitors are as yet depicted and their battles are trivialized. It’s shown signs of improvement this year on account of the sheer volume, however, I figure it will take the media simply leveling the ground, treating each applicant the equivalent, and once that occurs, ladies competitors will develop as the solid, keen, vital pioneers that they are.”
Ladies’ voices should be heard
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who acknowledged her new position on the Women’s Media Center’s Board of Directors at the occasion, stated, “The media is vital, and [Trump] is endeavoring to decimate the media. He’s undermining the media telling the general population that the media is the foe of the general population. That is to a great degree perilous and we know why he is utilizing those strategies since he doesn’t need the media to come clean about him. Furthermore, to the degree that he can hinder your message, at that point he will do that with the goal that he can be heard. We can’t give that a chance to occur.”
“Ladies’ Media Center is critical on the grounds that in addition to the fact that they support us having our voices heard and being at the table and having the capacity to settle on choices about the bearing of this nation, however, I think perhaps without precedent for quite a while ladies are understanding that we do have control, we have to figure out how to practice it, and obviously we require the media with the end goal to give us the stage.”
How can Canada and its media learn from the United States’s mistakes and avoid the hyper-partisanship that has plagued the country?
That’s what three distinguished journalists covered at “Journalism in the Age of Hyper-Polarization,” a panel hosted by McGill University on Oct. 30. The main topics covered included fringe groups, trust, and remaining objective and unbiased as a journalist.
The panelists agreed there can be no overarching solutions to these problems. However, they stressed throughout the event that Canada is relatively free of this partisanship for now.
The first topic discussed was the proper way to cover fringe groups. Philippe Gohier was the authority since he is the editor-in-chief of Vice Quebec, a publication that has covered the province’s political fringes since 2016. He argued that fringe groups should be covered, but with context. The panel also asked the question: how can journalists contextualize fringe groups that have been legitimized? They cited U.S. President Donald Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville incident, in which he condemned violence “on both sides” as an example of this phenomenon. The panel had no overarching solutions, saying it’s variable case by case.
Jennifer Ditchburn, award winning journalist and editor-in-chief of Policy Options, led the conversation on trust. She said journalists ultimately have the final say in writing and publishing a story, but choosing not to cover something may harm their credibility. Mark Lloyd, a panelist and professor of professional practice at McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy, added that “Journalism is imperfect; it’s called the first draft of history for a reason.” All the panelists agreed that readers have a responsibility as well: never get your news from one source, and popularity is not equal to trust.
Regarding objectivity, the panelists challenged the traditional strategy of giving equal coverage to both sides of the political spectrum. They referenced the 2016 U.S. election, arguing that Hillary Clinton’s email scandal shouldn’t have been given equal coverage to the other camp’s numerous scandals. Ditchburn said that equal coverage may not be a fair way of reporting on such issues.
Overall, the message was of hope and cautious optimism. Panelists agreed that media consumers must do their part by consuming a diverse diet of sources. They also stressed that reporters need to continue to inform the public in a diverse and objective way. To the panelists, most of these problems have no overarching fix, or any fix at all. But for the sake of Canada, they stressed that everyone must do their part.
If you’ve ever sat through an interminable, self-congratulatory industry awards program, you’ll be pleased to know that the 2019 Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors is definitely not like that.
The awards recognize and honor best practices for advancing diversity and inclusion, and were created last year by one of the advertising and media industry’s best-known thought leaders, Jack Myers. They’re produced by Myers’ AdvancingDiversity.org, and will be held January 9th in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show—specifically at the ARIA Hotel Conference Center, where more than 400 CES attendees are expected.
The 2019 Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors take a fresh approach to awards programs. In an experiential format created in 2014 by the Sundance Institute and the design and consulting firm IDEO called “Creative Tensions,” a moderator leads 100% of the attendees in exploring attitudes, conflicts and challenges. The objective is to find a path to the middle in solving common problems. At the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors, the honorees themselves will serve as catalysts—or provocateurs—in the group discussions.
Eight executives in media, marketing and advertising are being inducted, including:
Madonna Badger, CCO and Founder, Badger & Winters, for gender equality in advertising.
Kat Gordon, Founder of the 3% Movement.
Alma Har’el, Director and Founder of #FreeTheBid.
Pam El, CMO of the NBA, for gender and diversity leadership.
Bob Liodice, CEO, Association of National Advertisers, for its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing.
Ricardo Marques, Anheuser-Busch InBev group vice president of marketing core & value brands, for Budweiser’s diversity & inclusion campaigns.
Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, P&G, for diversity leadership.
Diego Scotti, CMO, Verizon, for its AdFellows Initiative.
The program is followed by the Inclusive Talent Job Fair, with recruiters from the world’s biggest agencies, tech companies and media brands. It’s designed to be a natural complement to the awards—honoring diversity in the workforce, and creating opportunities for those entering the field.
“It’s important to me for MediaVillage to be a leader in gender diversity, and to be at the forefront of advancing the industry and getting out ahead of recognized trends,” Myers says. “One of the biggest and most important trends was understanding the need to attract a diverse talent pool, and our industry is underperforming.”
Diversity remains a challenge in media and advertising, Myers says, because like other industries, it’s relationship driven—people tend to hire people like them, from the same colleges and social circles. “And it’s New York and Los Angeles centric,” he adds. “The cost of living is high. Salaries are historically low. A lot of young people have not been able to make a go of it. Talent acquisition has been reasonable, but talent retention has been terrible.”
In addition to the value of diversity to the industry overall, Myers says, he saw the awards initiative as an important business opportunity. “We’re investing in it, it’s good business for our industry and for our clients to have a voice in the diversity conversation,” he says.
Both events are owned by AdvancingDiversity.org parent MediaVillage, a membership-based research and marketing-communications organization founded by Myers for advertising and media companies and professionals.
This year’s recipients join the 2018 inductees, including from the Advertising Council (Lisa Sherman); Crowdfunding Roadmap (Ruth Hedges); Ernst & Young (Megan Hobson and Hiren Shukla); Interactive Advertising Bureau (Randall Rothenberg and Megan Hauck); Interpublic Group (Michael Roth and Heide Gardner); Nielsen (Angela Talton); Springboard Enterprises (Kay Koplovitz); and Unilever (Aline Santos).
Media and Diversity: What exposure can do
Recently for the Washburn Review, I was tasked with watched “Welcome to Waverly,” a new Bravo docuseries that follows the adventures of seven diverse urbanites in Waverly, a tiny town in Kansas with a demographic that hasn’t changed in centuries. However, I wasn’t able to access the show because I don’t have a TV service provider. This is not a review of the show, but I will use the show’s premise as a segue to my opinion about diversity and how media exposure of small town culture to the larger world and vice versa can bring about the kind of diversity societies and institutions should pine for. I will focus mainly on affirmative action and diversity fatigue.
From what reviews I have read online, it seems that Bravo has brought a refreshing, nuanced tone to their show that other reality shows don’t seem to have. They have cut down on the drama, the episode-spanning spats and the melodramatic reactions that would have usually come with shows about people living together. The reaction from the Waverly locals are muted and respectful. There are jabs here and there, but they are limited. The reviews laud the less divisive presentation of America. Here’s the thing, Waverly hasn’t directly felt the effects of systematic and internalized racism, sexism or other discriminatory practices that plague society.
While the show deserves praise for not sensationalizing events, it may fall victim to not diving deeply enough into the issues of diversity that big cities deal with directly, such as affirmative action, identity politics or brash inclusion initiatives.
Then again, big cities haven’t shown much progress in dealing with those issues. For example, taking affirmative action comes with a slew of problems. I understand the urge to instill programs in offices and colleges. However, I think it only serves as sort of a compensation, a short-term solution to a problem that has its roots in historical and social contexts. The idea of greater representation is nice, and no one disagrees that diversity is a good thing, but it can be ineffective when the root of the problem is not examined.
Representation without deeper understanding is just like a veil covering the darker underbelly of racism or sexism. In fact, poorly executed inclusion initiatives have shown to induce diversity fatigue in employees and managers. This occurs when people feel so much responsibility for instilling and maintaining diversity that they simply become tired of it. As employers and managers attempt to tackle diversity, they are always going to run into the root causes of the issue, which is too much for any one person to handle.
One thing that the show does right to solve these problems is that it gives exposure to the lives of small-town people. Of course, it could do more to add to the character of the town, but this could be a first step toward opening citizens up to the idea of diversity.
Media still holds a lot of power today, and shows like this may change the way people view each other. After all, education is crucial in battling oppression. There are possible missteps, though, that should be considered. Often, even with the best of intentions, show makers may present a group in such a way as to give way to negative interpretations. This happens because of the inherent bias of lack of financial backing that might prevent the people working on the show from covering a topic from all angles. I just hope that “Welcome to Waverly” has done that.