Past GRI Researchers
Nora Borodziej (Czech Republic)
Project summary: An analysis of anti-immigrant rhetoric espoused by Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic (2013 – present). This analysis draws heavily on an interview he gave to the Washington Post in January 2017.
Yvonne Chua and Maria Diosa Labiste (Philippines)
Yvonne T. Chua is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of the Philippines.
Ma. Diosa Labiste, PhD, teaches in the Department of Journalism, College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines. Her research interests focus on the interrelationships between journalism, democracy, and new media technologies.
Project summary: This case study analyzes the speeches of Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines. Since he was elected president in 2016, Duterte has delivered scores of speeches that justify his nationwide campaign against drugs. His speeches endorse violence against drug users and sellers, especially those who are poor.
Ana Lankes is an assistant news editor at The Economist. Previously, she interned at the BBC, Global Witness in London, and the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin. She graduated from Oxford University and is pursuing a master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Project summary: This case study analyzes the speech of Frauke Petry, leader of the right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany). Petry accused the political establishment of attempting to wipe out the German people. The remark plays on the anxieties of party members, many of whom fear cultural disintegration due to increasing numbers of migrants, and feel alienated from the largely centrist and leftist German parliament. The party rejects most media outlets as ‘Luegenpresse’ (lying press—a term frequently used by Nazis, but popularized earlier) and frequently rejects interviews with journalist, making Petry and AfD-approved outlets the main and uncontested source of information for many of the party’s followers. AfD supporters have been involved in violence against asylum seekers in numerous incidents in the past year, most of which have occurred in the east of Germany, where the party is strongest.
Andreas Reventlow is the Head of Strategic Partnerships at International Media Support (IMS), where he oversees journalism programmes in countries affected by conflict and repression. He has extensive experience managing programmes on independent journalism, freedom of expression, and media in conflict. Andreas writes on issues such as the safety of journalists, free speech online and technology and human rights.
Project Summary: Pernille Vermund, the leader of the recently established right-wing political party, the New Conservatives, has throughout 2016 and in early 2017 made a series of statements in mainstream media and on social media, about immigrants in Denmark from the Middle East and North Africa. Her statements have been perceived as unusually discriminatory, racist, and as fuelling division and antagonism between immigrants and non-immigrants due to her extraordinary choice of words when referring to immigrants and those who support immigration. This case study explores these speech acts. Since this case study was conducted in 2017, Ms Vermund and her political party have entered the Danish parliament. In the June 2019 parliamentary election, her party Nye Borgerlige, won four seats.
Marcell Sukosd-Kosa and Anna Szilagyi (Hungary)
Marcell Sukosd-Kosa is studying History at University College London. His main interest is the history of Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century. More specifically, he focuses on the gender and cultural histories of Hungary. Previously to writing this case study, he worked as an intern at Hungarian think tanks Republikon Institute and Political Capital. At Political Capital, he published reports on the activity of far-right parties and groups in Hungary.
Dr. Anna Szilágyi is an expert in media, politics, and communication and the author of Talk Decoded, a blog about the power of language in politics. She explores how political rhetoric influences thinking and behavior across the globe. Her writings have appeared in international academic books and journals. She also writes articles and provides commentaries for major global and local media outlets, including The Columbia Journalism Review, Global Voices, Rappler, Quartz, and Vice News.
Project Summary: The case study explores Hungarian anti-refugee and anti-migrant propaganda discourses from 2016 and 2017. The speakers are all powerful actors, including the country’s prime minister Viktor Orbán and the director of the governing Fidesz party Gábor Kubatov. We also analyze the textual component of a meme that was publicized on a blog by one of the celebrities of the local propaganda empire. Although they vary in terms of explicitness, the discourses in question are textbook examples of dangerous speech. The analyzed texts promote and reinforce the hostile, degrading, and inhumane perception and treatment of refugees and migrants as well as set people against those who aim to assist them in any way.
Case Study: Anti-refugee and Anti-migrant speech in Hungary
Jaroslav Valuch is an experienced practitioner in the field of media literacy, social media activism, hate violence, hate speech, and communication with crisis-affected populations. He is a project manager at Transitions, a Prague-based media development organization, where he runs the organization’s media literacy and disinformation initiatives, including Factczech.cz, which provides verification and factchecking support to Czech journalists and students.
Jaroslav is also a co-founder of the Institute for Social Inclusion where he oversees hate violence and extremism related programs. He contributes to the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention as a senior researcher and recently led a nationwide communication campaign focused on monitoring, awareness raising, and mapping of hate-motivated violence and hate speech organized by The Office of the Czech Government. In 2010 Jaroslav was a Fulbright Fellow at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.
Project summary: This case study analyzes anti-Islamic speech in the Czech Republic, specifically that promoted by Martin Konvicka. Konvicka is the co-founder and leader of the “We Don’t Want Islam in Czech Republic” initiative (Islám v České republice nechceme – IVCRN) and one of its derivative movements, “Bloc Against Islam.” At the height of his public political career, Konvicka and Bloc Against Islam received the endorsement of the President of the Czech Republic, who publicly supported the initiative by delivering a speech on their stage on November 17th 2015, the National Day of Fighting for Freedom and Democracy (anniversary of 1989 Velvet revolution).