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Mahmud Farjami on humor in Islam

MEKK member and Scholar at Risk at the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Iranian scholar Mahmud Farjami PhD presented his on-going research on humor and Islam in a seminar on May 12.

Iranian scholar Dr. Mahmud Farjami is the author of books such as An Introduction to Humor StudiesIranian Political Satirists: Experience and Motivation in the Contemporary and Laughter and Silence: A Selection of Ten Years Journalistic Socio-Political Satires (2004-2010). While with us as a Scholar at Risk, dr. Farjami has continued his long-standing research into Humour in Islam in addition to presentations at conferences and teaching. 

At the seminar, Mahmud was introduced by Head of Department, Nathalie Hyde-Clark and presented the Humour in Islam project and his soon-to-be completed research article, Self-Mockeries of a Mullah. A look on the humorous autobiography of Aqa Najafi Quchani (1878-1943). 

Head of the Research Section at SAM, OsloMet Kathleen Jennings, and Professor Elisabeth Eide gave their comments to the paper before an open discussion.

Thank you for an inspiring seminar!

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The annual Safety of Journalists conference. 2-3 November 2021

Call for Papers: Safety of journalists in times of infodemics

Oslo, Norway 2-3 November 2021

The term ‘infodemics’ had its breakthrough in 2020. The term – a combination of information and pandemics – describes a rapid and important spread of both factual and false information in a situation marked by uncertainty, also for those who are expected to disseminate information about the pandemic. In some countries journalists are being deprived of the right to report on the pandemic and experience increased risk associated with covering the governments’ social and economic policies. Several organizations working with the safety of journalists, such as Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) have repeatedly documented attacks and direct violence against journalists covering Covid-19. This includes both coverage of the actual situation at a given time, as well as for instance coverage of demonstrations against strict Covid measures.

Desinformation, so-called ‘fake news’ and conspiracy theories were central topics in the public debate already before the arrival of the pandemic. During 2020 and 2021 the world has indeed experienced how dangerous it may get when there is a lack of safety in journalists’ work environment while disinformation and conspiracies about infection, actions and consequences flourish. The pandemic brought excellent conditions for disinformation and conspiracy theories to grow. They can contribute to weakening confidence in the media and can in some cases be increasing hostility towards journalists.

RSF’s survey for 2020 shows that as the number of journalists killed in war situations decreases, increasingly more journalists (2/3 of those who lost their lives) are killed in countries not at war, and more and more often while investigating sensitive issues. Those behind the attacks on journalists and free media are rarely prosecuted and we know little about who they are.

One of the conference tracks will be dedicated to gaining more information and knowledge about those behind threats against journalists, with a particular emphasis during times of pandemics and crises. Another track encourages cases where journalists have joined forces to complete investigations started by colleagues being harassed or even assassinated, to keep their stories alive and not surrender to suppression. It is the aim of the conference to emphasize that in addition to physical and mental security, protecting journalists and media workers is also about their financial and legal security.

The purpose of the conference is to produce knowledge about measures that can improve the situation for journalists and journalism. This can be linked both to what journalists can do to protect themselves, both individually and in groups, and to collective and structural measures to protect journalists to end impunity for violence against them. The conference is also open for papers on more general safety issues for journalists and media workers.

We call for papers on topics such as (but not limited to)

  • Consequences of infodemics on the safety of journalists
  • Risks to journalists caused by false information
  • The safety of journalists in authoritarian “democracies”
  • Effects of campaigns and other actions to improve the safety of journalists
  • Teaching safety in journalism education
  • Killing the journalist won’t kill the story – studies on journalistic collaborations
  • Safety measures, both individually and collectively

All studies are encouraged to include gender perspectives.

If you want to participate with a paper, an abstract of maximum 250 words and a short bio focusing on possible earlier experience with research/practice in the field of safety of journalists/digital safety should be uploaded to  https://nettskjema.no/a/201737 before August 15, 2021. Please include your full name, institutional affiliation, and email. There is no registration fee and the participants are expected to cover their own costs for travel and accommodation.

A limited number of scholarships to cover flight and/or accommodation is available for Ph.D. students and researchers from low-income countries. Applications for scholarships should be submitted with the abstract together with a short CV.

The best papers will be considered for a forthcoming peer-reviewed publication. For any questions please contact safetyofjournalists@oslomet.no

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What is Press Freedom? New research article out.

MEKK’s Elsebeth Frey and partners Farid Abdel-Fattah, Abdel-Latif Abudheir, Charlotte Ntulume, and Jacques Araszkiewiez have published the article “What is press freedom? A study on journalism students’ perception of press freedom ” in Journalism Education. Vol. 10, issue 1. Pp. 59-68.
The article is based on experiences from the ‘rig’ on press freedom in France, Norway, Palestine and Uganda.
Congratulations to the authors!

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Diplomas for good journalism on the Sustainable Development Goals –  SDGs

Roy Krøvel and Kristin Skare Orgeret from MEKK in collaboration with Arnfinn Nygaard and the RORG-network organised a digital seminar on

Journalism and the SDGs in Norway

Friday 8 January

A report on the journalistic coverage of the SDGs was launched and a panel of journalists and NGO workers, Hildegunn Marie Tønnessen Seip, Ingrid Fadnes, Sigurd Jorde & Truls Gulowsen, discussed the prospects and pitfalls of such media coverage. Three journalists/newsrooms from E24, Dagbladet and Dagens Næringsliv were awarded a diploma for setting new and relevant perspectives of the SDGs on the agenda.

Press coverage (in Norwegian):

https://e24.no/olje-og-energi/i/nAGJeB/e24-journalist-faar-pris-for-oljefondet-dekning

http://www.rorg.no/Artikler/3647.html

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Against the tide. Surviving being a journalist in Mexico

Mexico is one of the riskiest countries to practice journalism, however, journalists build mechanisms to guarantee their safety without depending on the government. By changing the logic towards building networks and communities of support, the results are different.

Thanks to: Gisela Delgadillo, Marina Álamo, Rodrigo Caballero, Daniela Rea y Lydiette Carrión.

Produced by: Heriberto Paredes – Mexican journalist and photographer extremely interested in listening and knowing how people face situations such as migration, violence, inequality, disappearance, political murders and the need to change things to live better. He lives between Mexico and New York.

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3R Zimbabwe

3r Zimbabwe explores issues related to risk, resilience and resistance of Journalists in Zimbabwe based on  practising journalists’ personal experiences.

Thanks to: McTain Media,Safety of Journalists Conference OsloMet, Cite ZW.

Produced by:Mercy Mangwana Mubayiwa, who is a film academic and practitioner from Zimbabwe. She enjoys telling Stories4Change. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Media and Society Studies. She is a member of the Bosch Alumni Network and an Alumni of the African Filmmaking Fellowship.

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Making or Faking

This video documentary explores issues related to fake news and disinformation and its impact on journalism practices in the mainstream media in Bangladesh. The author (producer and director) takes a qualitative approach and performs a set of key informant interviews to illustrate critical documentation and insights about the issue in Bangladesh. The video can be useful to instigate a more in-depth academic discussion on the issue in similar contexts. 

Thanks to: The Conference Management Team, Professor Kristin Skare Orgeret, EKMATTRA Society, Those who actively contributed to the film.

Produced by: Mahmudul Hoque Moni who is an independent filmmaker and photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Being a civil servant, Moni works at the Ministry of Public Administration in Bangladesh. He also serves as an Associate Fellow of the Coretta & Martin Luther King Institute for Peace in Oslo, Norway. With Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Fellowship, he is currently doing his doctoral studies at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. He previously obtained three master’s degrees – Master of Arts in Governance and Development with UK Government’s Chevening Scholarship, Regional Masters in Journalism, Media and Communication with Norwegian Government Scholarship, and Master in International Relations with Bangladesh Government Scholarship. He has obtained several national and international recognition for his photographic works. His works have been displayed in several international galleries and exhibitions. He is raising funds for underprivileged children in Bangladesh through his signature project – 1000 Portraits 1000 Stories (www.1000portraits.org). He also made several other documentary films illustrating issues and debates with social and academic relevance. He can be reached at m.hoque1@ids.ac.uk. His website is www.mhmoni.com

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A short story of a feminist reporter in Turkey’s hostile NewsScape

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Risk Resilience and Resistance Journalism and journalists in Brazil in continous resistance

This short doc aims to contextualize and introduce the growing attacks against journalism and journalists in Brazil, the risks they are exposed and how they are building resilience and resistance against the threats.

Produced by: A partnership between University of Sao Paulo – Scholl of Journalism and Publishing and Reporter Brasil – NGO 
Elizabeth Saad, Director – Senior Professor for graduation programs and research coordinator at School of Communication and Arts – University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Author of books and papers. International speaker and former visiting fellow at Digital Journalism Group at OsloMet University, Norway.

Daniela Osvald Ramos, Director – Journalist, Professor and researcher of Communication Technologies at School of Communications and Arts of University of São Paulo (USP). Currently member of two projects: audiovisual literacy for children and youngers in public schools, with journalism professors at USP and algorithm-mediated violence, in Center for the Study of Violence at USP. 

Carlos Juliano Barros, Script and producer – Has a degree in journalism and a master’s degree in Human Geography, both from USP. One of the founders of Repórter Brasil, in partnership with Caio Cavechini, directed the documentary Carne, Osso. Winner of the Gabriel García Márquez Journalism Award for the documentary Jaci – Seven Sins of an Amazonian Work. He is an associate of Reporter Brasil. 

Leonardo Sakamoto, Narration – PhD in Political Science from the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences at USP and graduated in Journalism from the same university, he covered armed conflicts and disrespect for human rights in Brazil, East Timor, Angola and Pakistan. He is the founder and coordinator of the NGO Repórter Brasil and its representative in the National Commission for the Eradication of Slave Labor. And Human Rights

David Donato, Developer and Jonas Santana, Developer

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Risks, Resistance, Resilience – South African Journalists fight back

The COVID-19 Pandemic has heightened the focus on safety of Journalists in South Africa after numerous incidents of intimidation and police brutality have been reported formally by the South African National Editors Forum. We meet Azarrah Karrims, a journalist who survived getting shot at by the police and reflect on the general safety of journalists and incidents that have brought their personal safety in danger while in the line of duty.

Thanks to: Tseliso Monaheng, Lukhanyo Calata, Modise Mpye, Azarrah Karrim.

Produced by: Sara Chitambo who is a filmmaker and spokesperson for Sisters Working in Film and TV.  She started off her broadcast career as an insert producer and director in Television.  She holds a degree in Digital Documentary from Sussex University. As a director, Sara Chitambo is passionate about telling authentic, emotionally compelling stories and serious about continually mastering her craft as a storyteller.