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journalism

Photo: Esther Vargas; Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
 

 Young journalists at work 

 

In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack, not only Europe but the whole world was suddenly reawakened to the power of the media in shaping views and forming opinions. Newspapers and magazines as carriers of new information have the privilege (and curse) to stir emotions. This is all the more true for media that are intended for a youthful audience. E&M author Petya Yankova tells us more about a project she participated in, which focused on how European media represent certain social groups and depict young Europeans as well as on the engagement of young people in Europe with the media.

 

The main responsibility of the media is to provide a full and impartial overview which is only possible through the diversity of its producers painting a picture as multifaceted and therefore as complete as possible. However, this does not seem to be the case for European media, which is why in 2013 the European Union and the Council of Europe joined forces to develop and implement a training programme for journalists, educators and media managers aimed at improving media quality by promoting an inclusive intercultural approach to news production: Media in Europe for Diversity Inclusiveness (MEDIANE). It offers journalists the chance to pair up with counterparts from another European country and develop a common output on the theme of diversity in media training and literacy, media production and journalism practice.

 

MEDIANE originated from independent research by multiple sources which revealed deplorable under-representation of certain social groups in European media. Women, immigrants, the LGBT community, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities rarely receive their due attention on European news channels, although, statistically, they make up a huge proportion of the population. For example, a 2010 study by the Global Media Monitoring Project has shown that only 24% of the news items in Europe feature women, although they make up half the continent’s population.

Published in Contentious Europe

In this week’s edition of Good Reads, E&M's Frances Jackson shares a few online titbits that caught her eye over the last few weeks: prepare yourselves for a whistle-stop tour of current European hotspots, both culinary and cultural.

 

Frances, Diaphragm / Baby editor

 

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FORGOTTEN EUROPE, BRIEFLY REMEMBERED

 

This is not only my first Good Reads of the year, but also my first as a magazine rather than blog editor. I suspect that the festive season is still preying on my mind though, because I am very much in the mood to indulge myself and shall be shamelessly tailoring these picks to my own personal whims and interests. Some readers might recall that I have previously used these pages to argue that Western media outlets suffer from a chronic lack of interest when it comes to Albania. In general I stand by this point, but I was at least pleasantly surprised to see the country getting a couple of mentions in recent days.

 

The first, which even spent a little while trending on the website of the Independent, was connected to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s decision to arrange three coloured pencils like Le Tricolore in his lapel pocket for the Charlie Hébdo demonstration last Sunday. The author is right to highlight the fact that Rama is himself an artist, yet I do feel that he misses a couple of other important points. Namely that the politician used to live in Paris, and, perhaps even more significantly, is now leader of a European country that – however secular it may be – does have a Muslim majority.

 

My other discovery was a travel piece about the mallësori, a mountain community in the far reaches of northern Albania. Amongst the sweeping and evocative descriptions of life in the mountains, there are perhaps hints of the strain of orientalism identified by Larry Wolff in Inventing Eastern Europe, but for the most part, I found the author to be fairly even-handed in his judgement. In fact, for me, the main effect of the article was simply to unleash a certain nostalgia for the country that I called home for a few months back in 2013. All I can say is read it, and go there. Seriously. Albania is a wonderful place that does not deserve the oft-unsavoury reputation it has acquired.

Published in Good Reads
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 00:00

Good Reads – From Lampedusa to Scotland

Another week has flown away but not without two of E&M's editors sharing some articles that got them thinking about our continent. This time around, Edgar and Veronica have picked up some online pieces about the value of history and the aftershocks of an Italian earthquake, passing through the Scottish referendum, a law in favour of the rights of transsexuals and Europe's immigration debate.

 

Edgar, Baby editor

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HISTORY AND HUMILITY

 

In one of the first tutorial sessions of my undergraduate history degree, I clearly remember a classmate nonchalantly reeling off George Santayana's famous quotation about the value of history: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." The tutor was unimpressed. "You're lucky you didn't say that in your interview," he said. His point, reprised by many of my teachers throughout the next three years, was that history is not a crystal ball. If we gaze into the past we do not see the future; only the past.

 

At the time, these historians' strident insistence on the practical uselessness of their subject was a little deflating. Why were they devoting their lives to such a futile endeavour? They were clearly jaded, I thought, if not outright depressed. Only gradually did I realise that this warning against drawing lessons from history was a valuable lesson in itself. If history teaches us anything at all, it is how little we can control or even predict our own fate.

 

Published in Good Reads
Monday, 25 August 2014 00:00

E&M welcomes a new partner on board

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Cosmopublic, an exciting and unconventional European news site. Just like E&M, Cosmopublic strives towards shared European media and has set out to work on one of its prerequisites – an informed, cosmopolitan European public with a transnational sense of belonging.

As the lack of mutual knowledge about other European nations poses a significant hurdle to further integration, Cosmopublic has set up a project called What moves your neighbour? to help combat all-too-familiar feelings of irritation and prejudice among neighbouring countries. They believe that integration has to start at the level of the individual, hence the emphasis on raising awareness and sympathy between readers of different national backgrounds. The European Cosmopublic Project (ECP) provides readers with quick overviews of their European neighbours and publishes country reports on a fortnightly basis.

Here at E&M we are looking forward to productive cross-fertilisation of ideas between the two organisations. We invite our readers to consult the Cosmopublic pages for their breaking news fix, while continuing to enjoy the latest issues of our magazine for more personal or essayistic takes on Europe.

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