On Tuesday 14 June JMIC (Journalism & Media International Center) at OsloMet presented a report on the development of Afghan journalism after the Taliban takeover in mid-August 2021.
The study is based on analysis of media content from six Afghan outlets, as well as interviews with prominent media leaders, and journalists still working inside Afghanistan. It is to our knowledge the most comprehensive report on this issue so far.
The event was addressed by:
H.E. Youssof Ghafoorzai, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Norway, Oddgeir Osland, Dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences, OsloMet, and Knut Olav Åmås, Director, Free Expression Foundation.
The report was presented by:
Elisabeth Eide (Professor Emerita, project leader), Hasina Shirzad (MA student, OsloMet), and Zahir Athari (researcher, UiO).
Other team members are postdoc fellow at OsloMet Mahmud Farjami as well as Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Director of Nai-SOMA, a media watchdog in Afghanistan, who could not be present at the occasion.
The presentation was followed by comments from Mr. Sharif Hassanyar, previous Director of Ariana TV network in Afghanistan Kristian Berg Harpviken, Research Professor, Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Responses from the authors and questions from the audience.
The event was streamed for those who could not attend physically.
Courage, compassion, and commitment in the face of challenges —these were demonstrated by the women journalists and researchers who shared their stories on March 8, International Women’s Day.
Organized by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) and the Journalism & Media International Center (JMIC) at OsloMet, the online event “Challenges to the Safety of Women Journalists” was moderated by Elisabeth Eide, veteran journalist, writer, and professor of journalism studies. IAWRT president Violet Gonda opened the program, while Oona Solberg of OsloMet delivered the closing remarks.
The discussions revolved around the obstacles women journalists face in different parts of the world, and how they continue to stand up against threats and attacks. The momentous event brought together eleven speakers from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East:
Oleksandra Hrybenko from Ukraine, a PhD student at the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at OsloMet in Norway
Inna Berezkina from Russia, speaking from exile, programme coordinator at the School of Civic Education
Najiba Ayubi, US-based Afghan journalist and activist for human rights and media freedom, Director General of DHSA/The Killid Group, and chapter head of IAWRT in Afghanistan
Kreshma Fakhri, Turkey-based journalist working with The Killid Group since 2009, reporting on corruption, human rights, violence against women and children, and civil war in Afghanistan
Birgitte Jallov from Denmark, Director of EMPOWERHOUSE, an initiative supporting community media and civil society organizations towards sustainability
Therese San Diego Torres, IAWRT Philippines Board Member and Research, Policy, and Advocacy Director at the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC)
Rand Sabbagh, Berlin-based Syrian feminist journalist and researcher and Deputy Director at the Syrian Women Journalists Network
Dr. Naila Hamdy from Egypt, associate professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at The American University in Cairo, Egypt, and associate dean for research and graduate studies at the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP)
Raziah Quallateon Mwawanga from Tanzania, media expert, trainer, mentor and consultant, and member of IAWRT Tanzania, East African and Tanzania Editors Society and Forum, and Tanzania Media Women’s Association
Nabeelah Shabbir, British-Pakistani journalist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Senior Research Associate at the International Center for Journalists
Sonali Dhawan, researcher from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) who previously served as program officer with the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights
Among the highlights were the sharing of the speakers from Ukraine and Russia. With all eyes on their respective home countries, they talked about the experiences of journalists who stayed in Ukraine despite being targeted by the Russian army and facing threats of harassment and rape. They expressed their support for Russian journalists who continue to speak the truth amid the ban and shutdown of all independent media, and the detention, torture, and killing of journalists and human rights defenders.
During the program, participants also witnessed a performance by IAWRT Philippines member Marilyn Mirana, who sang “Easy to Lose Hope” against a backdrop of images of women displaying messages of support for journalists and media workers. The song was dedicated to Veronica Guerin, a crime reporter from Ireland who was murdered by drug lords in June 1996.
The keynote presentation provided a glimmer of hope, as it featured the Digital Safe House (DSH) for Women Journalists spearheaded by IAWRT and International Media Support (IMS) with IAWRT Philippines as beneficiary. A pilot project, the DSH is an online platform featuring a reporting mechanism for Filipino women journalists under threat or attack, as well as a portal of resources such as safety training, peer support and counseling, and legal assistance.
Inna Berezkina from Russia, speaking from exile, said, “I hope people will be judged by their deeds, not the color of their passport, because evil has no nationality. And I believe that solidarity shouldn’t have it either.”
The online event provided a venue for women across the globe to listen to each other’s stories and strengthen their solidarity in order to overcome the common struggle against threats and attacks on female truth tellers.
In co-operation with partner Nai supporting open media in Afghanistan, JMIC at OsloMet started a course in peace journalism for Afghan journalists/editors. We also cooperate with the Faculty of Journalism and Commuication at Kabul University.
How to teach War and Peace journalism: professional challenges when encountering propaganda and fake news.
In the last issue of the journal JOURNALISM EDUCATION (2019; 8:2), Elisabeth Eide and Rune Ottosen have published an article drawing on their extensive experience in teaching an MA course in war and peace journalism with students from a wide range of countries.
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.
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.