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Culture

Goodbye, Erasmus

erasmus phixrThe future of the Erasmus scholarships is an uncertain future. Even though, of course, this only depends on who are we asking to. As we all know, the Secretary of Education, José Ignacio Wert, announced only two weeks ago the withdraw without previous notice of the state assistance for this year to all the students who weren’t beneficiaries of a general scholarship, measure that had to be abandoned after the strong protests and the opposition on behalf of the educational sector, the Autonomous Communities and the European Committee.

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Community

UAB Delegation participates in the Euranet Debate in Brussels

Politicians and citizens from all over Europe met on June 19th in the European Parliament in Brussels for the official launch of Euranet Plus, the radio and Internet network for EU news. Among those present were the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, three Vice Presidents of the European Parliament, and Juana Lahousse-Juárez, the highest ranking Spanish civil servant in the EU.

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When the ball is not used to play: Violence and Sport

It is a circle shape that is loved all over the world and mostly brings joy and happiness and more over pride to its countries. Simply it is the beloved sport football. However, in the latest years the stadiums of football are witnessing more violence all over the world more than ever before. There are a lot of reasons for this violence, starting from the attitudes of fans, less safety in the stadiums, but the greatest reason is the media since it affects the public opinion especially in international matches and that could result in bad relations between countries.

Moreover the technology nowadays especially in media whether visual or electronic help in increasing the violence in sports and damaging the relations between countries too, since social media offers instant interaction between people all over the world and on the spot commentaries about the events and matches beside the news offered by different media and that increases the mental violence between people of different countries.

One example about the violence in football is what happened between the Egyptian football team and the Algerian one in the final match played in Sudan 2009 in the qualifies of the world cup. The rate of violence in this match was to the peak and resulted in a conflict between Egypt and Algeria and the media was the main reason for the violence because of what have been disseminated in both countries, and thus we moved from physical violence in stadiums to bad and violent commentaries about each country in the media.

Also, in other countries like Spain there are media specified just in sports and mainly football in newspapers and a lot of TV programs. Sometimes, and increasingly, the guests are more focused on the confrontation and the argues between the teams rather than analyzing the match. They search for scandals in the studio to raise the rate of viewing and that even convert the TV studio to constant quarrel battle and this is against media ethics, and of course is not contributing in decreasing the violence in the football stadiums.

Talking about violence in football in Spain, Mireia Sanz “the head press of Cerdanyola football club said that one main reason of violence in football in Spain is the raisings of parents that make their children more violent because they imitate them, she also added that they are working on their club to give classes for small football players on how to be tolerant and teach them the ethics of sports.

Genís de Moner Font a Barcelona football team fan said that media has a great role in Spain in increasing the rate of violence in sports generally and especially in football.

On the other hand, Santiago Giraldo a professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona added that in Colombia a lot of violent incidents happened last years that made the government to quit the tournaments for a whole year, and he also said that it is forbidden to enter the stadiums wearing boots, belts, watches or anything that could be used as a violent weapon.

Ayman Mostafa from Egypt said that sports media anchors should be qualified Egypt and the government should raise the level of safety in stadiums especially after the horrible disaster that happened between two local football teams where the fans attacked the other team fans and killed 72 people and that made the government stop allowing fans to enter the stadiums.
Finally, sports are a mean of amusements and entertainment and should always bring happiness and peace. So all the countries should fight against violence in general and especially in sports, and media should play an objective non biased role in disseminating its news and ideas and should accurately choose their presenters according to specific skills and qualifications. And last but not least, we should never mix football with politics except to strengthen the relations between countries.

And as Lewis Grizzard said “The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.”

MILID Journalists

Chido Onumah: “Young people: it’s their world, they own it”

Chido-Onumah-1Chido Onumah is a Nigerian journalist and coordinator of the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy, and member of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy. Onumah’s passion for media education has led him to travel all over the world as a reporter and an expert in media training for professional journalists as well as promoting media and information literacy for students and youth in Africa. Follow Chido Onumah’s ideas on this interview with Young Journalists.

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Economy

Growth this year will be higher than initially forecast. The unemployment rate, whilst still much too high, has stopped increasing

Jose Manuel Barroso

Politics

Social Media: A “gamechanger” for young people

By Lucciana Rupp & Sandra Hernández, Dominican Republic

Mass Media and Social Communications students from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology (Egypt) and from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (Dominican Republic) discussed the role of social media and young journalists in order to drive change in their communities. Follow their ideas in this article.
 

a man during the 2011 Egyptian protests carrying a card saying. Photo credits: Essam Sharaf

In our recent conversation with Mass Communication students from Egypt, we noticed that both countries have a few things in common in terms of journalism.

In the Dominican Republic and in Egypt journalists sometimes face conflicts of interest. Owners of media outlets and employees try to profit from a work that should be primarily social. That has been the common issue that stops achieving freedom of expression in both nations.

In Egypt, there are far more mechanisms of repression, but in the Dominican Republic there is no other than the censorship journalists impose on themselves (auto censorship) in order to “not bite the hand that feeds them".

Also, the economy affects the whole population. Mass Communication student Sohaila Hussein says that in Egypt the majority of people are just trying to survive. With such low wages Egyptians cannot think about freedom. “When people are hungry why would they want a change?” Sohaila adds.

 

Despite the general resignation, Egyptians won a massive victory after expressing their will through social networks. By 2011, President Hosni Mubarak had been ruling Egypt for almost 30 years. It seemed that his dictatorship would last longer because of the succession plans of his son Gamal Mubarak. Egyptians were fed up with their situation and started to summon their friends and family to take action.  Web messages, tweets, Facebook statuses, announced their disappointment on high unemployment rates, corruption, and lack of freedom, police brutality, and impunity.

When the government authorities tried to stop them by restricting the access to those platforms it was too late. People from around the world were following the strong protests and expressing their support.

Finally, Hosni Mubarak resigned on February 11, 2011.

Dominican citizens wave their hands signaling a number four as they demanded during

However, according to students from Alexandria, the situation somehow remains the same. In spite of this, Mohamed Gharbia, a Mass Communication student from Alexandria, believes that he and his colleagues can help society through social media projects. “We as people that study the ways of broadcasting, the ways of giving people an information, should be agents of change”, Gharbia said.

During the conversation he referred to citizen journalism. But, as our teacher Merybell Reynoso said, that kind of journalism includes obstacles like unsustainability, and unverified information that could lead to confusion. Moreover, it could serve to vile government interests.

4 por ciento Jos Rodrguez

Mohamed Gharbia agreed on that, but emphasized that even though there is “powerful people” who try to crush that kind of projects, “we have to face them with our morals and beliefs”. It means that as journalists, we should generate our own information to confront and defeat corruption and other social issues.

Some may argue that social networks in themselves mean nothing, but people in Egypt and in the Dominican Republic know how powerful they are. Something similar to the Egyptian Spring happened in the Dominican Republic, not necessarily to overthrow the government but to hold it to account. Until 2013, the Dominican Republic had invested just 2 percent of the GDP in education - one of the lowest levels in Latin America.

Dominicans, especially young people, were aware of the educational system´s shortcomings, so they used social networks to demand their rights to a better education. With this, they demanded that the government invest 4% of its annual budget on improving primary and secondary school education.

Facebook and Twitter were the platforms through which people agreed and reminded each other to wear yellow every Monday and to gather in key places from Santo Domingo to protest. On December 2013, Dominicans succeeded; the 4 percent investment for education was approved.

 

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This is just an example of what countries (even if geographically distant) around the globe and the new generations are doing: digitally demanding their rights and influencing others to do so through social media.  

Gharbia, has faith in citizen journalism and dares to conclude with strong motivational words for aspiring journalists: The worst thing that can happen is that things stay the same. What do you have to lose? Your life? I think that, personally, my life is a small price if I'm going to do something that is going to change the world”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Special Thanks to:

Sohaila, Mohamed, and Alaa. 

Photo credits:

Photo 1: A man during the 2011 Egyptian protests carrying a card saying "Facebook, #jan25, The Egyptian Social Network" illustrating the vital role played by social networks in initiating the uprising. Photo credits: Essam Sharaf 

Photo 2: Dominican citizens wave their hands signaling a number four as they demanded during "Voces Unidas por la Educación (2011)"  that the government invest 4% of its annual budget on improving primary and secondary school education.  Photo credits: Merybell Reynoso

 Photo 3: Dominican man participates of "Voces Unidas por la Educación" a concert and popular manifestation that back in 2011 demanded thatthe government invest 4% of its annual budget on improving primary and secondary school education. Photo credits: José Rodríguez