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Laughing in the face of terror

Terrorism, extremism and corruption are things Ahmed Al-Basheer knows personally. The Iraqi comedian has lost two family members to terrorist militias and would face great danger if he returned to Iraq. Nevertheless, Al-Basheer maintains a strong sense of humor and directs scathing satire and absurd jokes at everyone from Islamic State terrorists to corrupt officials.

Every two weeks, Al-Basheer and his team use their own money to produce “The Al-Basheer Show” from a private residence in Amman, Jordan. Up until now the show had only been published online, and despite having more then 30 million views since its 2014 launch, no broadcaster would risk airing it.

As an advocate for freedom of expression worldwide, DW is now the first broadcaster to televise the show. Audiences throughout the Arab world can now watch The Al-Basheer Show in Arabic on DW (Arabia). In cooperation with Jordanian partner Al Sumaria, the show will be broadcast every Friday evening during prime time.  Al-Basheer has made a big name for himself and will make an important contribution to DW’s presence as a beacon for reliable news and free speech in the region.

By using humor to bring serious issues to the public sphere, The Al-Basheer Show represents a small island of free expression in a sea of extremism and oppression. The success of his program indicates that there are many people in the Arab world who relate to his message and understand the deadly absurdity that extremism brings.

 

Date

2016-04-15 | 8:10

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How is digital technology advancing freedom of speech?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the important work being done at DW Akademie is centered on raising standards of press freedom, especially in developing countries around the world. Recently, DW Akademie released a digital innovation study that analyses how digital technology can be used to improve and advance freedom of expression as understood under Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

With emphasis on the “Global South” the study looks at how fundamental functions of media, such as creating a public sphere and holding power to account, have been transformed by digital technology. It identifies a shift in focus from traditional media institutions onto civil society actors and determined individuals that are now taking the lead in promoting freedom of expression in developing countries. This is a central issue for creating media development strategies.

Contributing to this is the South2South manifesto developed by DW Akademie and IAJ in South Africa that outlines a set of principles that can be used as a guide for individuals, groups and institutions in forming a sustainable and effective media landscape.

The Media Freedom Navigator from DW Akademie is an easy-to-use reference tool that visually demonstrates how media development, press freedom and human rights intersect. It includes a media sustainability index, a media barometer, media development indicators and human development indexes along with references and learning tools that improve understanding of these important issues.

These free resources provided by DW Akademie provide a valuable service to everyone who seeks to understand more about the indispensable role media play in fostering social development.

Date

2016-03-24 | 4:00

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DW Akademie orients students in a changing global media landscape

IMS students from three generations gathered recently at DW Akademie in Bonn.

DW represents Germany in the international media landscape, and besides providing audiences worldwide with quality journalism, DW Akademie also promotes media development with training programs for media professionals. The International Media Studies master’s program from the DW Akademie is a comprehensive part of DW’s role in fostering high standards in media. The IMS program is currently accepting applications.

Every year the program accepts 30 students from around the world. The IMS curriculum reflects the diverse career paths open to media professionals. But the benefits of the IMS program are best exemplified by what graduates go on to accomplish. Just a few careers of recent graduates include a university professor in Brazil, a senior public affairs consultant in Indonesia and a project coordinator for media development in Belarus.

Two IMS graduates also created the blog Multicoolty, which started off exploring what life is like in Germany for those coming from other cultures, and has since expanded this focus to include France, Italy and Russia.

IMS also produces a series of research books, “Edition International Media Studies”, which take an in-depth look at issues affecting different media systems around the world. The 2015 edition focuses on international standards of journalism education. Previous editions include analysis of media landscapes in Kenya and Pakistan and the role of the media in the Arab world.

With each new IMS class, a range of cultures and professional backgrounds come together to create a unqiue learning environment. Prospective IMS students have until March 31 to apply.

Date

2016-02-23 | 3:20

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A personal side to the refugee crisis

The massive influx of refugees into Europe presents a challenge for journalists to cover a story that has been saturated in the European media and somehow lost the human element behind the noise of statistics and politics. The voice of refugees themselves can become lost in the clamor and seeing their stories close up and first hand delivers a poignant and valuable perspective.

DW’s Documentaries and Reports is adding a personal angle to the refugee story with #MyEscape, a documentary special that shares what it is like to come to Europe as a refugee. Using videos and photos that refugees took themselves along the way combined with revealing interviews, #MyEscape allows the refugees to tell this important story in their own words.

The international and cultural expertise at DW played a huge role in conducting follow-up interviews in the refugees languages and in establishing an atmosphere of trust where people felt comfortable telling their stories.

#My Escape will air starting February 13 and is produced in cooperation with WDR and Berlin Producers.

Date

2016-02-05 | 1:08

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DW journalists demonstrate the power of storytelling

 

What drives some people to push themselves to the edge and keep coming back to the world’s most rugged and treacherous mountains? DW sports journalist Stefan Nestler tells these stories and makes it clear that mountaineering is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle.

Nestler’s mountaineering blog Adventure Sports takes a special look at people who live for reaching the next peak. The blog also places a special emphasis on life in the Himalayas – both for locals and the cadres of mountain adventurers whom descend on the region each year.

The blog recently won a Sport Media Pearl Award in the Journalistic Weblog category. The contest, organized by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), is considered one of the most important international sports media awards and recognizes outstanding storytellers in sports.

Nestler dedicated the award to “climbers from all over the world who live their passion and to the mountain people who must work so hard.” But Nestler isn’t the only DW journalist being honored with awards.

Jaafar Abdul Karim, the host of DW’s Shabab Talk and other productions covering the Arab world ranked third place as Medium Magazine‘s “journalist of the year” in the category nationwide reporting. Medium said that that Karim was a “perfect mediator” between Germany and the Arab world. Karim uses a unique approach to storytelling that helps contextualize and clarify issues facing young Arabs. He also produces a video blog that keeps up with the latest issues and controversies.

Another distinction was presented by Kosovo’s public broadcaster, RTK, which honored DW’s Bahri Cani with a “Journalist of the Year” award. The journalist with DW’s Albanian department was recognized for live news reports in Albanian and Serbian, which provide a valuable service to speaker’s of both languages in Kosovo. Cani’s work also distinguishes DW as an objective and reliable source of information in the region.

Live reports from DW have been included in RTK’s morning broadcasts for more than three years. RTK also carries the Albanian edition of DW’s, Focus on Europe, along with Euromaxx, Drive it! and Tomorrow Today.

Two DW Portuguese for Africa correspondents were also recognized for their outstanding journalistic achievements and commitment to human rights. Braima Daramehat won a “Journalism and Human Rights” prize from the Observatório dos Direitos Humanos based in Guinea-Bissau. His work as director of the local youth broadcaster Rádio Jovem earned him the distinction. The station’s programming emphasizes human rights, freedom and democracy. DW’s radio dramas Learning by Ear and Crime Fighters are broadcast in Portuguese by Rádio Jovem.

Luciano Nagel, a DW correspondent in south Brazil won a Prêmio CNT de Jornalismo for his report on the working conditions for Brazilian truck drivers. Nagel has also produced stories for DW covering African refugees in Brazil.

Date

2016-01-19 | 1:33

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