Today almost 100 representatives from the European media, policy
makers, experts and activists campaigning for the elimination of discrimination
in Europe, met in Prague
and agreed a package of measures to encourage more diversity in the media
across the member states of the European Union & EFTA. Their
recommendations say they will "make a world of difference" to the role of media
in helping to create fairness and justice in European society.
Since May 2008, the
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Internews Europe, and the Media
Diversity Institute have worked on a detailed Study on Media and Diversity, with
the support of the PROGRESS programme of the European Commission. In the process, they have identified
initiatives involving media that counter discrimination and promote diversity
in 30 European countries.
"Europe is a glorious mix of culture and diversity," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ. "But we
have to guard against discrimination in all its forms. The initiatives and
recommendations identified in this programme show media how they can help make
diversity a living reality for all citizens. The media need to understand
that if they don't engage with diversity they have a built-in sales decline".
marked the end of a long process of research, survey and analysis of more than
400 initiatives in European media. A team of experts has short-listed 30 significant and innovative initiatives, drafted
a publication on media best practice with recommendations to media, civil
society organisations and policymakers for further action.
In her key note speech, senior British
columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown said that "diversity is not a soft thing; it's
not like hot chocolate. It must not obscure some of the real struggles for the
rights of individuals and communities."
Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative of
the Freedom of the Media, declared that "not only diversity has to be promoted,
but also dynamism, which has always been the source of all progress with its
clashes between different voices, lively debates and disputes".
The study publication including the
recommendations will be finalised by end of March 2009.
More information: www.media4diversity.eu