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Ethnography of diaspora journalism

Patricia Cruz

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The study “Examining Diaspora Journalists’ Digital Networks and Role Perceptions: A Case Study of Syrian Post-Conflict Advocacy Journalism” by Rana Arafat from City University of London sought to understand how diaspora journalists maintain their connections to the homeland and how they advocate for human rights and political reforms from afar. 

Previous research on diaspora journalism has mainly focused on the level of professionalism in the journalists’ online media, promotion and advocacy through conflict reporting, and the threats, physical and digital, that influence the practices.

The study at hand employed digital ethnography of two digital diasporic networks, Syrian Journalists’ Association (SJA), with 500 members and 12,743 followers, and Syrian Female Journalists’ Network (SFJN), with 150 members and 7,331 followers, in order to understand advocacy content, practices, and dynamics of interaction. The networks were created by exiled journalists.

In addition to studying the interactions in Facebook, the study had a second step where 12 in-depth interviews were conducted on Syrian diaspora editors and journalists, whose work involved opposition news. The purpose was to gauge how the interviewees perceived the changing nature of their roles and the various forces influencing their efforts.

The digital networks do not serve the purpose of generating news content for the general public. Rather, they serve as gateways for the diaspora journalists to fulfill several functions. The observation revealed seven functions, ranging from promoting homeland-related advocacy and connecting the struggle to international issues to informing journalists about professional opportunities.

Syrian Journalists’ Association was more focused on the larger Syrian community including Syrian Kurdish Journalists’ Union, and assuring access for both diaspora journalists and local Syrians to the forums. Syrian Female Journalists’ Network on the other hand, involved non-Syrian actors in its work under the umbrella of the larger feminist movement in the Middle East.

Both of the forums presented the Syrian government and state-controlled media as the “opponent”, but also strongly emphasized the role of civil society organizations. , The SJFN, despite the large role of the diaspora in Turkey, opposed Turkish intervention in the area.

To link the cause to international movements, the networks engaged in hashtag activism. Additionally, the hashtags helped to organize the posts in the websites. This was combined with offline efforts to join up with the international community to take action. 

Of the journalists’ perceptions, the study found out that all the participants refused to categorize the work they do as “activism”, because the term has loaded connotations in Syria as many armed terrorists and fighters there call themselves activists. Rather, they framed their work as “advocacy” within the framework of constructive journalism. 

There were four narratives arising from the interviews of the first group: a) challenging the regime’s authoritative voice, b) truth-telling and avoiding the state-like propaganda , c) promoting opposition without being identified with any oppositional group, and d) practicing public-service advocacy while avoiding political activism and mobilization journalism.

The second group running the digitalized networks focused on two narratives:  a) mobilizing for a social change, and b) lobbying the regime and opposition authorities to defend journalists. Two among this group perceived their work as involving the empowerment of democracy and press freedom, as well as defense of human rights of journalists and human rights people. 

As for the influences the journalists encountered, organizational influences were present in the diasporic newsrooms itself, as the journalists clearly had political backgrounds at odds with the regime and this influenced the coverage despite the adoption of more international standards. The author sees a danger that if the political leanings are one-sided, the diaspora journalism becomes a mere mirror image of the state news in one-sidedness. 

Procedural influences involve the constraints for reporting transnationally. Information verification is difficult as is access to sources. This is particularly so in Syria, where all non-state media is considered “fabrication” and “against the state”, and local sources understandably fear talking to opposition journalists. The diaspora journalists depend mainly on local journalists who at times may be too shell-shocked by the events to be able to report.

Political influences involve the surveillance and transnational repression faced by the journalists. Sometimes host states such as Turkey impose censorship on certain topics. They find it hard to criticize the Turkish government without the fear of being shut out or their headquarters in Gaziantep shut down.

The author states that the study contributes to the ongoing discussion in three ways: it proposes that there are advocacy-based functions in the journalists’ networks that go beyond the normal functions.

 Second, hybridity is rethought in regards to journalistic role perceptions, by proposing two unique approaches to serving democracy in exile. The journalists do not perceive a conflict in their roles as advocates and journalists, and do not believe that they risk the quality of their media work.

Third, for the traditional hierarchies of influence, this paper adds and connects a new set of local and transnational sets of influence that shape the diasporic journalism practice. There are specific constraints on performing advocacy and storytelling in diaspora. 

The author suggests that future research should focus on cross-country comparisons between different groups of exiled journalists. 

The study “Examining Diaspora Journalists’ Digital Networks and Role Perceptions: A Case Study of Syrian Post-Conflict Advocacy Journalism” by Rana Arafat is in Journalism Studies. (free abstract). 

Picture: Untitled by aladdin hammami.

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Journalism

The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout

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Journalism plays an essential role in keeping the public informed about current events and issues. The internet has made it easier than ever to access a wide range of news and analysis from reputable sources. Here are some of the best journalism sites for keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings around the world:

  1. The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) – The New York Times is a well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture.
  2. The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) – The Washington Post is another well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers in-depth coverage of national and international news, as well as commentary on politics, business, and more.
  3. The Guardian (www.theguardian.com) – The Guardian is a British newspaper that offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture. It has a strong reputation for investigative journalism and has won numerous awards.
  4. BBC News (www.bbc.com/news) – BBC News is the online news division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events.
  5. Al Jazeera (www.aljazeera.com) – Al Jazeera is a Qatari news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa.
  6. Reuters (www.reuters.com) – Reuters is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of business and financial news.
  7. CNN (www.cnn.com) – CNN is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and live events.
  8. The Economist (www.economist.com) – The Economist is a British magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on economics and politics.
  9. The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com) – The Atlantic is an American magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on politics, culture, and technology.
  10. ProPublica (www.propublica.org) – ProPublica is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigative journalism. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of politics, business, and social issues.

Guest blogging is a highly effective marketing strategy that every business should be utilizing. By purchasing PR publications, you can increase traffic and establish authority.

These are just a few examples of the many great journalism websites that are available. Whether you’re looking for breaking news, in-depth analysis, or a particular perspective on current events, these sites are an excellent starting point.

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Journalism

The Ethics of Healthcare Advertising: Balancing the Right to Information with the Risk of Deception

Alice Trout

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Healthcare advertising has the potential to inform and educate the public about important medical treatments and products, but it must be done in an ethical and responsible manner. On one hand, the public has the right to access information about healthcare options that may improve their quality of life or save their lives. On the other hand, there is a risk that healthcare advertising could deceive or mislead consumers, leading to negative consequences for both the companies and the public.

One issue with healthcare advertising is the promotion of prescription drugs for off-label use. Off-label use refers to the use of a drug for a purpose that has not been approved by the regulatory agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label use, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs for off-label use. This is because the FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.

Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have been known to engage in off-label promotion in order to increase sales. This can be harmful to patients, as they may be prescribed a drug that has not been thoroughly tested for the specific condition they are suffering from. In some cases, off-label use of a drug can even be dangerous.

Another issue with healthcare advertising is the use of exaggerated or misleading claims. This can include making false or unproven statements about the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, or downplaying the risks and side effects. Such practices can lead to consumers making informed decisions about their healthcare, and can also harm the reputation of the healthcare industry as a whole.

In order to strike a balance between the right to information and the risk of deception, it is important for both regulatory agencies and the healthcare industry to prioritize ethical practices in healthcare advertising. This can include measures such as strict oversight by regulatory agencies, clear guidelines for the approval and review of advertising materials, and campaigns to educate the public about how to evaluate and interpret healthcare advertising. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the public has access to accurate and reliable information about healthcare options, while also protecting against deceptive practices that can harm both consumers and the healthcare industry.

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Journalism

Supporting Startup Founders’ Mental Health: The Importance of Prioritizing Well-Being in the Fast-Paced Startup World

Alice Trout

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As the startup world continues to thrive and grow, it’s important to recognize that the fast-paced, high-stress environment can take a toll on the mental health of founders and employees. In fact, research has shown that entrepreneurs are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression compared to the general population.

One key factor that contributes to this risk is the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure that can come with starting and running a business. Additionally, the long hours and lack of work-life balance that are often associated with the startup world can also contribute to mental health challenges.

It’s essential that startups prioritize the mental health of their founders and employees, not only for the well-being of the individual, but also for the overall success of the business. Research has shown that mental health issues can negatively impact productivity and decision-making, which can have serious consequences for a company.

There are a few steps that startups can take to support the mental health of their team members:

  1. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health concerns.
  2. Offer resources such as counseling and mental health benefits to employees.
  3. Foster a culture of self-care by promoting healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  4. Set boundaries and encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout.

For those not ready to go to the doctor or looking for support, mental health startups Europe offer help through apps.

It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that startups prioritize the well-being of their founders and employees. By taking steps to support the mental health of their team, startups can create a positive and healthy work environment that leads to success for both the business and its employees.

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