A small sign declaring a popular North Saanich business and community meeting spot a media free zone is working, says its owner.
“We have hardly seen any press now,” said Rosemary Scott, owner of Deep Cove Market. “I think they have really backed off.”
The store located at corner of West Saanich Road and Birch Road near North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary has served as a familiar and comfortable gathering spot for locals for years, but has also witnessed a wave of foreign media members, who want to speak to locals about Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
The couple, along with their son Archie, recently moved to the area as part of their decision to step back as senior members of the British Royal Family after having spent their Christmas vacation here.
Scott said she put up the sign reading ‘press free zone’ on the store’s entrance after interest from the foreign media had “gotten out of hand.”
She said members of the British media were the first to visit the store.
“They were very nice, obviously wanting to speak to the staff,” said Scott. “However, we were then inundated.”
Media members from the around the world including Italy, Japan and the United States were soon descending upon the store to the point where some started to set up cameras outside the store, blocking its parking lot and bothering customers. Scott has also received phone calls from various media.
“Honestly, I’m done [with foreign media],” she said, her voice clearly ringing with frustration.
Everybody in the community knows where the royal couple currently lives, she said. But if the couple were to become members of the community, locals would like to give them their space and freedom.
“We are really trying to give them their space and their privacy, and I am just really tired of having the press here,” said Scott.
Not surprisingly, so are the Royals themselves, having threatened to take legal actions against photographers, who snapped pictures of Markle earlier this month, while walking through Horth Hill Park with the couple’s son, Archie.
Scott more than understands this desire for privacy. “Harry lost his mom to the paparazzi,” she said. “So I think he wants to protect his wife and child and have some freedom and that is part of the reason why [they are] moving to Canada, to get away from that. We really just want to give them their space.”
Scott said she believes the community shares her sentiments.
“All the customers I have spoken to are hoping that people can give them their space and be welcoming,” she said. “I don’t think Meghan and Harry don’t want to talk to the public. I think they do. They just don’t want to be harassed by the press. They want to be able to go out and be part of the community and be safe.”
Scott is not the only resident trying to discourage photographers. She said one of her customers has formed a Facebook group, where users can identify locations of paparazzi, when they spot them. “That way [the couple’s] security team knows where they are,” she said.
4 Tools For Developing Critical Media Literacy Skills From NAMLE – Forbes
With Twitter announcing a few days ago that, under Elon Musk’s leadership, it will stop policing Covid misinformation, the wide-ranging and rampant spread of falsehoods about elections and vaccines across all social media channels, and other known attempts at mass deception, it has become more important than ever that people learn to question and investigate the sources of any information they find online. Media literacy has emerged as a critical issue in the 21st century.
The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) is devoted to convening experts, promoting media education, and teaching people – especially children – to be savvy consumers of all forms of media. Executive Director Michelle Ciulla Lipkin speaks frequently to the press about how media literacy is an essential life skill in today’s world, and how media literacy education can combat misinformation, give people confidence in their decisions, and protect democracy.
By uniting a community of educators, practitioners, and researchers, NAMLE develops resources to develop the vital skills of media literacy. With 82 organizational partners, over 7,000 individual members, and an educator reach of 300,000, NAMLE empowers leaders and educators with the knowledge necessary to help students navigate the most complex media ecosystem that has ever existed.
During the run-up to the U.S. midterm elections on November 8, 2022, for example, NAMLE organized Media Literacy Weeks, a series of events and programs that took place across the country. NAMLE partnered with organizations such as PBS, The National Media Literacy Alliance, Lego, Sesame Workshop, and Roblox to offer sessions on topics including how to teach media literacy in classrooms for kids ages elementary through high school and the impact of media on civic engagement. The organization has also enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Reuters.
“Being media literate means asking questions, being curious and skeptical about all media messages all the time,” says Lipkin. To get started on your media literacy journey, she suggests asking these questions:
● Who made this?
● Why was it made?
● How does this make me feel?
● How might different people understand this issue differently?
● What is left out that might be important to know?
NAMLE’s core principles teach people that:
1. Media messages are produced for particular purposes – whether it be to entertain, sell something, inspire us, make us laugh, or even manipulate us to act and feel a certain way. Understanding the intent behind a media message is key to being media literate.
2. All media messages contain embedded values and points of view. No media message is neutral. Everything has an agenda and is created by humans who have different perspectives. Think about what the values and points of view are of the creator of the content when analyzing media.
3. People use their individual skills, beliefs and experiences to construct their own meanings from media messages. Each individual perceives the world and the media they both consume and create differently. Recognizing those differences allows for a more nuanced understanding of each other.
4. Media and media messages can influence beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, and the democratic process. Media are powerful and they impact almost every aspect of our lives.
Lipkin developed a passion for media literacy for very personal reasons. On December 21, 1988, when she was 17 years old, her father was coming home from a business trip in London when the plane he was on, Pan Am flight 103, exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. Experts later determined that a bomb had been placed on board by terrorists.
This was before cell phones and the internet, so Lipkin and her family actually learned of the terrible tragedy through a breaking news story. They had to watch the television news to get all their information about the crash, its cause, the other families impacted, and even – that first night – to learn that there were no survivors.
“It was a life-defining moment,” says Lipkin, “an incident that would forever change the person I was. It changed the way I thought about the world, the way I saw myself, the way I understood everything. It also shaped my relationship with the media – in profound and powerful ways.”
Three and a half years later, Lipkin and her family set out to investigate the Lockerbie disaster for themselves. That decision, she said, changed everything. “I had believed that what I was seeing on the news was my father’s story. I hadn’t even realized that there were questions I should have been asking. Answers I should have been demanding.” In the 30 years since, she has made endless media appearances regarding her father’s death.
Furthermore, what she discovered led Lipkin directly into a lifelong career of media production and media literacy education. “I have found the perfect cause for me to keep fighting for,” Lipkin says. “I feel very proud of the work that I do and the growth of NAMLE and the media literacy movement. It is valuable work that makes a real difference in people’s lives.”
That said, Lipkin faces numerous challenges in running a non-profit, including fundraising and capacity issues around whether they can bring on the staff they need. In addition, Lipkin says, the media literacy community is large and diverse, meaning that people have many different ways to approach it. Finally, she feels that “the movement to save our country from falling into a disinformation abyss is a 24/7 job. It’s on my mind all the time.”
With the Covid pandemic, the rapid spread of misinformation became about more than just democracy; it became a life-or-death situation. And so, Lipkin feels more motivated than ever to continue her work with NAMLE. “Our services have never been in more demand. Our work has never been more important.”
Lipkin has an original take on connecting with your life purpose. “I always prefer to be the least intelligent person in the room,” she says. “I love learning from others. I am curious about other people’s expertise and perspective. My advice: surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and have different skills than you. This can inspire you to take yourself to the next level.”
What Western media got wrong by claiming Iran abolished its morality police
Over the weekend, news spread in numerous reputable media outlets that the Islamic Republic of Iran had dismantled its controversial morality police.
Wikipedia even changed its entry, with the edited text suggesting the force had officially been disbanded.
But these reports all rested on a vague statement made by one Iranian official, one who in the same breath said his department is not responsible for the morality police.
Not only is it unconfirmed that the morality police have been disbanded, but statements by officials since have made it clear that sharia law — and its restrictions on women’s dress — will continue to be enforced.
The morality police came under the scrutiny of Western media as of Sept. 16, the day 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died after being detained by officers for not wearing her hijab properly.
The circumstances of Amini’s death, and the force’s involvement, have since triggered protests against the police and the Iranian regime that have swept across the country and the world.
What did media outlets claim?
The New York Times for instance, reported it as being an “apparent victory for feminists.”
Who did the claim come from?
The original claim came from a vague comment made by one regime official — someone who is not in charge of Iran’s morality police.
At a press conference, Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was asked why the morality police, which in Persian is called Gasht-e-ershad, has not been seen on the streets in recent days.
Montazeri said the following: “The morality police has nothing to do with the judiciary system. The same source that created it in the past — from that same source it has been shut down. Of course, the judiciary system will continue its surveillance of social behaviours across society.”
While reports suggest the morality police is not seen prominently on the streets, the regime has continued its violent crackdown on Iranian protesters. It has employed multiple military forces, including members of the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its plainclothes agents, to brutally crack down on protesters. According to one human rights group, 500 Iranians have been killed, including at least 60 children — and more than 18,000 people have been detained.
What does that tell us?
The top prosecutor’s comments include a few important points the media should have taken into consideration.
Firstly, the attorney general admitted the morality police does not fall under the purview of the country’s judiciary. And he also did not specify who exactly allegedly shut down the morality police — or when and how it was shut down. Instead, his comments were “vague and non-transparent,” as BBC Persian reported early on.
Notably, Montazeri said the enforcement of the country’s Islamic sharia laws would continue by means of “social surveillance” — demonstrating that whether the morality police exists or not, Iranian women will still be subjected to the same punitive legal system dictating the Islamic dress code.
Has the regime made false claims about the morality police before?
Yes. Late in 2017, IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Rahimi, who also heads the Greater Tehran police, claimed that Iranian women would no longer be jailed for not wearing the hijab. Rahimi said women would instead receive lessons to “reform their behaviour.”
But in 2018, police in Tehran arrested 29 women for taking part in the “White Wednesdays” campaign, where women across Iran protested the mandatory hijab by climbing onto telecom boxes, taking off their headscarves and waving them on a stick.
A number of these women and their mothers are still imprisoned.
And while the morality police is the arms-length body that physically enforces the Islamic dress code, the country’s strict mandatory hijab law — which came into effect in 1979 — remains in place.
What has the Islamic Republic said since the press conference?
Iranian state media forcefully pushed back on the top prosecutor’s comments, insisting it is the Ministry of Interior that oversees the morality police — not the judiciary.
Montazeri was also quoted in Iranian state media rebuking reporting by the international media, saying that “no official authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran has confirmed the closure of the morality police.”
Why did media outlets mischaracterize this vague claim?
Iranians on social media quickly expressed their dismay at the way international media reported the news, many suggesting it stems from an inherent misunderstanding of what the protests in Iran stand for.
“I think it simply underscores that the global community wants a neat resolution to this story and is not realizing that the Iranian people want a full overhaul of the system — not just the morality police,” Gissou Nia, an Iranian-American human rights lawyer at the Atlantic Council told CBC News.
And Western institutions, including the media, have had a poor understanding of the Iranian regime for a long time, said Iranian-Canadian human rights activist and lawyer Kaveh Shahrooz.
“Instead of listening to democracy and human rights activists, these institutions mistakenly listened to analysts who told them that Iran’s regime is basically normal and can be trusted,” Shahrooz said.
“Iran’s regime is not normal; its official statements are often lies designed to mislead the world. Our media should not take them at their word and must exercise extra caution when reporting on Iran.”
Why some Iranians say this is a diversion
Iran has seen an unprecedented wave of anti-regime protests for almost three months, beginning after Amini’s death in custody.
This week, protesters organized strikes across different cities in the country.
Many activists argued on social media that Montazeri’s comments were a form of misinformation and, in fact, a tactic employed by the Iranian regime to stop the ongoing protests in Iran.
“International media outlets must learn that when dictatorships like the Islamic Republic are in trouble, they spread propaganda, as the Iranian regime did in 2017 and as they did today,” prominent Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad said on Twitter. “This is their modus operandi.”
Russian media report unexplained blasts at 2 military bases
KYIV, Ukraine –
Ukrainian officials reported a new barrage of Russian missile strikes across the country Monday, an attack that was anticipated as Russia seeks to disable Ukraine’s energy supplies and infrastructure with the approach of winter.
Media reports referred to explosions in several parts of the country, including the cities of Odesa, Cherkasy and Kryvyi Rih. In Odesa, the local water supply company said a missile strike cut power to pumping stations, leaving the entire city without water.
“The enemy is again attacking the territory of Ukraine with missiles!” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, wrote on Telegram.
Air raid alerts sounded across the country, and authorities urged people to take shelter.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ihnat, said Russia launched land-based missiles from southern Russia and shipborne missiles from the Caspian and Black seas. Russian strategic bombers also launched missiles, he said.
Ihnat warned the Russians could attack in several waves to make it more difficult for the Ukrainian air defences to shoot down the missiles.
Earlier Monday, Russian media reported that explosions rocked two air bases in Russia. One reportedly happened at a base that houses nuclear-capable strategic bombers that have been involved in launching strikes against Ukraine.
Neither Ukrainian nor Russian authorities immediately commented on the possible cause of the blasts.
Russian state RIA Novosti news agency said three servicemen were killed and six others injured, and a plane was damaged, early Monday when a fuel truck exploded at an air base in Ryazan, in western Russia. The base houses long-range flight tankers that serve to refuel bombers in the air.
Separately, authorities in the Saratov region along the Volga River said they were checking reports about an explosion in the area of the Engels air base, which houses Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers that have been involved in launching strikes on Ukraine. Those bombers are capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
Saratov regional governor Roman Busargin said there was no damage to civilian facilities and added that the authorities are checking whether there have been any incidents at military facilities.
Regional media reported sounds of a powerful explosion near the Engels base, and some residents were quoted as saying they saw a flash of light coming from the area.
Asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had been briefed about the Engels base explosion, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said simply that the president was being regularly informed about ongoing developments.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, trolled the Russians over the drone attack on Engels, stopping short of claiming responsibility:
“The Earth is round — discovery made by Galileo. Astronomy was not studied in Kremlin, giving preference to court astrologers. If it was, they would know: if something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to departure point,” Podolyak tweeted.
Zelenskyy’s office said three rocket strikes hit the president’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih in south-central Ukraine, killing a factory worker and injuring three others. In the northeastern region of Kharkiv, a person was killed in strikes by S-300 missiles on civilian infrastructure in the town of Kupyansk, it said.
The war that began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 has displaced millions from their homes, killed and injured an untold number of civilians, and shaken the world economy — notably through the fallout on the prices and availability of foodstuffs, fertilizer and fuel that are key exports from Ukraine and Russia.
Western countries on Monday began imposing a US$60-per-barrel price cap and a ban on some types of Russian oil, part of new measures aimed at stepping up pressure against Moscow over the war.
The move has prompted a rejection from the Kremlin and also criticism from Zelenskyy — whose government wants the cap to be half as high.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who is in charge of energy issues, warned in televised comments on Sunday that Russia won’t sell its oil to countries that try to apply the price cap.
“We will only sell oil and oil products to the countries that will work with us on market terms, even if we have to reduce output to some extent,” Novak said in televised remarks hours before the price cap came into effect.
The 27-country European bloc also imposed an embargo on Russian oil shipped by sea.
Russia, the world’s No.2 oil producer, relies on the sale of oil and gas to underpin its economy, which has already come under sweeping international sanctions over President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
In recent weeks, Russia has been pounding Ukrainian infrastructure — including power plants — with military strikes and keeping an offensive going in the east, notably in and around the town of Bakhmut.
Russian forces have also been digging in near the southern city of Kherson, which was recaptured by Ukrainian forces last month after an 8-month occupation.
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