Bridging the perception gap: cross-ethnic confidence-building with the media in Russia Print

Region/country: Russia, Eastern Europe

Timeframe/dates: 1998/1999

Funder: Council of Europe

Partners: National Press Institute (Moscow)

Project Description

A project designed to defuse tensions in Russia's major cities between the majority ethnic Russian population and the country's many ethnic minorities - particularly those of Caucasian descent - by training the media to provide more balanced and accurate reporting of ethnically charged issues.

The project was created to defuse tensions in Russia's major cities between the majority ethnic Russian population and the country's many ethnic minorities, by training the media to provide more balanced and accurate reporting. It aims is:

To develop a curriculum and training materials for teaching the skills and sensitivities of reporting on these issues;

To provide, through its briefings and press conferences, a constant stream of information about ethnic communities in Russia and issues that affect them, in order to maintain a healthy and transparent public discussion.

A six-month training course was held for mainstream Russian and minority journalists on covering ethnically charged issues. The course included 12 sessions. It was taught by leading Russian and foreign journalists, conflict experts, and NPI staff. During the course, selected participating journalists undertook supervised projects which were then submitted to national and regional broadcast outlets. This marked the beginning of a greater cooperation between news media in Russia regarding the coverage of diversity-related issues.