Following organization’s mission, the European Youth Press believes that empowering national, ethnic and religious minorities through balanced media coverage is an essential component on the road to a free, inclusive and well-informed society in Europe.
European Union is proud of its diversity, peaceful coexistence and inclusiveness of people from variety of backgrounds, which is one of the keys to its financial prosperity. However, superficial and biased media coverage of topics related to national, ethnic and religious minorities leads to misunderstanding, stigmatization, hatred and, as a result, split in the society.
Starting from 2015 this topic became vital for modern Europe, which experienced the highest influx of migrants and refugees since the World War II. The European migrant crisis went hand in hand with the rise of right-wing movements in the EU as well as with the inflow of misleading and biased information in mass media on the topic.
In this context, the European Youth Press believes that it is crucial to train young journalists to spot biases in the media landscape as well as in themselves when covering issues related to minorities. It is essential that personal stereotypes – whatever they may be related to – not affect professional activities of journalists.
In order to address this issues the European Youth Press organized two events dedicated to reporting on minorities and migrants, which involved sessions on critical thinking, human rights as well as fact-based data journalism.
World Perspectives: Minority Voices
The first event was a study session supported by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe and implemented in cooperation with MENAC, Concordia International and the Minority Rights Group Europe. The ‘World Perspectives: Minority Voices’ study session took place in Budapest on 22 – 28 of April 2013 and brought together 25 young journalists and activists from different countries and cultural backgrounds.
The programme of the study session consisted of three blocks. The first block addressed the rules of logic, aiming to provide participants with the tools necessary to objectively analyse information they may come across and to identify and categorise possible biases in the media or in political discourse.
In the second block, the participants learned about minority and human rights, with the purpose of sensitise participants to the challenges and multiple forms of discrimination faced by minority communities and how these issues can be understood in terms of human rights violations.
The third and last block consisted of practical media production. Participants reported on topics such as the Roma communities, Afghan Refugees in Hungary and on the question what minorities are.
World Perspectives: Diversity Voices
The second event was a training called ‘World Perspectives: Diversity Voices’. It was supported by the Erasmus+ grant and implemented in cooperation with DUE Media Network Hungary. The training took place in Budapest on 23 – 29 of November and brought together 53 young journalists and activists from Europe and beyond. A special focus of this training was on the European migrant crisis and strived to bring participants with migrant / refugee background.
The training course was composed from three main components: Human Rights, Critical Thinking and Data Journalism. The first component was introduced through lectures on the general legal background of human rights issues related to the topic and its implementation in Europe. The second component consisted of workshops on how to recognise biased information and avoid it in every-day journalistic work. The third component through workshops and lectures offered participants different tools for gathering, analysing and visualising open-access statistical data as way of building strong fact-based arguments in journalistic reports on topics of migrants and minorities.
Two additional sub-components introduced in this training were Study Visits and Political Q&A. During the study visits to different NGOs and other related organizations participants were able to meet personally with the representatives of minority communities and acquire a ‘minority perspective’ on different issues. At the
Q&A session with the Member of the Hungarian Parliament participants learned about the political side of issues as well as agendas behind national policies related to migrants and minorities.
This knowledge was solidified through hands-on production of multimedia content. Most reports made by participants addressed different sides of European migrant crisis and were dedicated to Syrian refugees and Muslim communities as well as to migration policies in Hungary and Roma communities.
You can check the media outcomes of the ‘World Perspectives: Diversity Voices’ here.