Media Seminar in Prague Pushed for "Living Reality of Diversity" in European Media

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".


Prague meeting

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.

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