| ||organisation: Media Diversity Institute|
country: UK, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia
type of activity: media network for human rights prevention & non-partisan journalism
what: the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation that mobilises the power of media to lessen inter-group conflict, advance minority and human rights, and support deeper public understanding of all types of social diversity. It is based in London and has offices in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
why: its primary programmatic objective is to promote fair, accurate, in-depth, and sympathetic media coverage of diversity-related issues as an essential step toward strengthening human and minority rights and promoting understanding between different social groups. Such media coverage can play a central role in reducing irrational prejudices, avoiding the inflammation of conflict, and confronting extremist political agendas. Such media coverage can provide a critical bulwark against the escalation of ethnic, nationalist, and religious conflicts.
where: MDI works mainly in societies where for decades only one party or one ethnic group or one religion has dominated (e.g.: Israel, Nigeria, Romania or Serbia).
activities: MDI promotes the highest standards of professional journalism as they relate to coverage of diversity. It develops and employs tools, training methods and practical reporting initiatives to that end. It organises a variety of events, ranging from training workshops and practical reporting projects, to conferences of journalism academics and long-term media monitoring programmes.
networking: MDI works with media organisations, journalists, journalism educators, NGOs and governments to prevent and reconcile conflict, promote tolerance of vulnerable groups, and stimulate balanced and non-partisan journalism.
projects: MDI has run media diversity projects across 14 countries and territories. MDI's flagship project is currently its three-year South Caucasus' programme. Other projects address the role of media in conflict areas in Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East.
Among other completed projects, we want to mention “Finding common ground in Israel - Jewish and Arab journalism students working together”: an intense, short-term project in which 24 Jewish and Arab undergraduate journalism students tackled the issues surrounding reporting on ethnic otherness. A mix of theory and practical work, the project culminated in the production by the students of a 24-page, bi-lingual newspaper supplement, that was circulated into their northern Israeli community as an insert in local Arabic-language and Hebrew-language newspapers. The project received a 'Certificate of Excellence' commending their work, at the 10th British Diversity Awards, 2004.
trainers wanted! The Media Diversity Institute employ freelance journalism trainers, preferably with experience of diversity issues/reporting, to conduct courses on an occasional basis. Course lengths vary from two days to two weeks. Previous media training experience is essential. Trainers are sought from both print and broadcast backgrounds. At the moment MDI's main focus is on the Caucasus, but other regions of interest include: Southeast Europe, the Middle East, and Indonesia.
Please send CVs for the attention of Lydia El-Khouri: firstname.lastname@example.org.