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🚨 And here we go...

Our landmark conference on the role of the media in deeply divided societies opens.

Join the conversation via #SCImedia
We open to a packed house, with @charliebird49 in conversation with @mohamed

Charlie outlines Mohamed's work supporting independent journalism via @mdiforg

Charlie says, Mohamed also worked at the coalface of media, with cutting edge work with @AJEnglish

We are listening to a superb conversation with @mohamed on the media revolution heralded by social media.

He led the way with @AJEnglish.

Fascinating insights also into his coverage of the Arab revolutions. A global perspective at #SCImedia
Our questions to @mohamed swept across the issues of media ownership, control and suppression..

...the challenge of objectivity, of holding truth to power, the media & politics of Trump...

..but also the Renaissance of journalism. A fascinating contribution.

Now up, @christinebelled with @EppleTim, plus @AnupKaphle and Jeremy Adams of @BBCSpotlightNI on peace agreements around the world and the #media
Great appreciation in the hall for the fascinating global overview from @mohamed

We're looking forward to more great questions as our first group panel gets up and running.
We are delighted that @AnupKaphle travelled from Nepal to be with us.

He is delivering a riveting account of the tensions in Nepal and the battle faced by journalists to hold power to account.
Now BBC's Jeremy Adams discusses change in #media since 1998 peace deal.

Security stories are replaced by stories of corruption & holding power to account.

He says media decline means BBC is one of few outlets with resources to do long form investigative journalism

Asked if the media should 'step back' to avoid destabilising the fragile politics of the peace process in N.Ireland, Jeremy Adams argues that doing so risked making things worse.

So, the answer is that the media must press on.
Jeremy Adams discusssed his new series on the history of the Troubles.

He revealed colleagues asked if it could be labelled the 'Northern Ireland Troubles', as audiences in Britain would not know what the 'Troubles' was.

Are victims of the conflict and the bereaved alerted when Troubles coverage is broadcast?

Jeremy says the BBC sees the need not to shock victims with footage of the circumstances of their loss.

Says the #media can't always get it right.

Jeremy Adams is challenged by @christinebelled about a programme that put victims together with perpetrators.

Didn't such framing just give perpetrators a platform to lie and hurt victims further?

He said great efforts were made to protect victims & seek truths.

.@AnupKaphle talks about #media efforts to expose corruption.

He also talks about societies reconciling violent history and the need for transitional justice.

He says using explainers & interactive videos helps young people understand the truth of the past.

Delighted now to see a panel of exceptionally experienced guests from the world of peace building & #media.

On stage is Noel Doran the longest serving daily newspaper editor in Ireland @irish_news, plus Vikki Cook of @Ofcom and @milicapesic and chaired by @JCohen_CR

Vikki Cook of @Ofcom says her first editor told her if a person said it was raining and another said it wasn't, it was not her job to report their views, but to stick her head out the window and check the weather.

Simple but important point in era of opinion Vs fact.

From @milicapesic we hear calls for financial support for quality journalism in face of populism & oppression.

She also denies the claims financial support compromises media independence. She says support is vital

Backing from multiple donors can blunt any criticism

Noel Doran talks about the great newspaper history of Belfast.

It's a city rich in news & remains so, drawing in British and Republic of Ireland titles as well as local titles.

He also recounts the horrendous violence of the Troubles. Papers worked together to help.

Noel also recounts when peace came it coincided with tougher times for newspapers - tho fledgling government nevertheless had over 100 press officers

Says news is 'Something someone somewhere doesn't want you to know'

Says media & his @irish_news will keep reporting

Now we're hearing from our next panel.

Fascinating insights into Kashmir, Rwanda and Turkey, with @NadineHack
With @bali23 and @MuvunyiF plus @baysal_nurcan

We now hear from two Northern Ireland panels on the impact of the media on this divided society.

Alan McBride of @WAVETrauma talks of the media treatment of victims of the conflict here in Northern Ireland.

Says there is much good practice but also raises a series of issues on treatment of victims.

Now @Deasun_OD of @PPR_Org says they notice that the big scandals in politics here are presented as aberrations by a largely functioning govt here.

He argues, however, lots of injustices, plus ongoing violence hurts most vulnerable here, but are effectively ignored.

.@Deasun_OD cites evidence of discrimination in housing in Belfast, with very little coverage.

"It's those unasked questions that are the pierceing questions."

Talks of a media attention deficit.

Another powerful contribution from @GoddardIvy

Says we never see minority ethnic faces reading the news in Northern Ireland.

They only appear if there has been a race hate crime.

"It is as through we don't have an opinion on any other issues"

Strong critique of media, esp @BBCnireland as Denis Bradley says:
- fav news format is 'start a row'
- failure to report on rest of island of Ireland
- he suggests BBC NI has created a "bear pit" in the Nolan show, a claim he previously made on the show & it denied
And now we hear the NI media respond.

.@adamcsmyth & @StephenGrimason talk of working in BBC across decades,
@AmandaFBelfast cites pressures facing reporters in a divided society & recalls overseas newsdesks' shock that her Protestant/Catholic parents constituted a 'mixed marriage'
.@trevorbirney talks of his inspiring start @impartialrep

But says there's a reduction of commercial news journalism in NI & criticises the regulator's role. Says @BBCnireland now effectively has no competition.

Without competition, he implies news suffers.
.@adamcsmyth talks of the huge reach of @BBCNewsNI, says he struggles to see the BBC does not cover all sections of society, pushing back against such claims, saying it provides wide coverage.

He also says BBC 'does not do balance', but is impartial & reports facts
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