Media Against Racism

Published: 21 March

Region: Worldwide

media1Few days before the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, it has been decided to launch the  International Observatory which will be keeping track of all Neo-Nazi, Fascist and Racist phenomena.

The decision has been taken during the conference that took place in Greece regarding the role of media in the rise of racism. This new watchdog is an effort of media self-regulation to fight racism and xenophobia in Greece, phenomena that have been partly flourished because of the incitement and populist media discourse. “I am grateful for the efforts of our Greek unions in advancing such a strong wake up call to the rest of their sister unions in Europe. If we look at the new texture of far-right sub-cultures, neo-fascists do not just target Muslims and Roma, but also civil society groups as well as our unions, and journalists too, are being subjected to far-right political violence.”, said the President of International Federation of Journalist (IFJ), Jim Boumelha.

According to Athens-Macedonian News Agency, the future duties of the Observatory will be the recording of media content and the organisation of seminars and trainings for journalists. Each year it will publish a report with the media content that it will have gathered.

Plans to launch the project have already been agreed in an urgent motion passed at IFJ’s world congress in June 2013 in which all of IFJ’s Greek affiliates noted the terror campaign being carried out by Golden Dawn against media workers in Greece. Reports, such as World Press Freedom Index 2014, write that the security situation in the country has been aggravated by the rise of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn as its’ leaders and supporters openly target journalists and threat their lives or the lives of their families.

The two-day conference debated the role of media on the rise of racism and far right extremism not only in Greece but also in Europe and worldwide. The responsibility regarding the reproduction of stereotypes stressed the director of Journalists Union of Athens Daily Newspapers underlining that everyday coverage in Greece doesn’t include successful cases of immigrants’ integration in the society. “Democracy grows up under the condition of freedom of the press and pluralism of ideas” said from his side the General Secretary of Italian Press Federation (FNSI), linking the financial crisis with racism and xenophobia.

The high profiled conference was attended by many Greek journalists, representative of Greek Unions and media faculties but also the representatives of European and International Federation of Journalists.

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