» UNESCO highlights IPDC project on countering hate speech in Yemeni media during ARIJ Summit
10.12.2017 - UNESCO Office in Doha

UNESCO highlights IPDC project on countering hate speech in Yemeni media during ARIJ Summit

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During the Arab Investigative Journalism Network (ARIJ) Summit, organized in Jordan from 1-3 December 2017, UNESCO was invited by the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) to present the project it is implementing with the Yemeni Media Centre on countering hate speech in Yemeni media, with the support of the Intergovernmental Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

UNESCO was invited to present the project as part of a side-event session on "observatories and national initiatives to address hate speech in conflict zones". UNESCO GCC and Yemen Cluster Office is working with the Yemeni Media Centre to consult editors in chief of 15 media outlets in Yemen on the issue of hate speech and discuss ways to counter the dissemination of violent messages in the media. As part of the project, UNESCO and the Yemeni Media Centre are also working on producing a glossary of hate speech in Yemeni media, which will highlight key words that are considered to be inflammatory or inciting violence.  

The side event was organized as part of the EJN's "Arab Media Hub Against Hate Speech," a coalition of media experts, NGOs and journalists from countries such as Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Libya who are working together to counter hate speech in the media in the Arab region. UNESCO GCC and Yemen Communication and Information Senior Programme Assistant, Marion Desmurger, who is part of the regional hub, took part in the discussions and highlighted the need for strengthened coordination between regional and international actors to share best practices and avoid duplication of work.

She also highlighted challenges when implementing projects focusing on hate speech n conflict zones, including the instability and lack of safety under which numerous NGOs and journalists currently operate in Yemen and the importance of reaching out to editors in chief and media managers on a regular basis to ensure sustainable change. 

Discussions with experts and EJN Director, Aidan White, also highlighted the need to tackle the urgent needs to protect safety of journalists in crisis contexts while addressing the issue of hate speech, and how tools such as glossaries or EJN's 5 point test for hate speech can be used by journalists, NGOs and universities to counter hate speech in the media.

The event was organized as part of the 10 Annual Forum for Arab investigative reporters organized by ARIJ, a one of its kind annual gathering focused on investigative journalism in the Arab region, which attracted more than 500 participants from the region with 45 training sessions and workshops by regional and international media experts this year.

The project "countering hate speech in Yemeni media" was approved by the Bureau of the IPDC in 2017 and will be implemented from 2017-2018 in Yemen.  

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