Latvia and Romania: Reducing Ethnic Tensions

Media in both Latvia and Romania were assisted to help diminish tensions within their ethnically divided countries by strengthening the capabilities of these news organizations to distribute more in-depth, balanced, and pluralistic reports. Those objectives were to enable media to promote greater popular understanding of human rights, to support greater understanding among all ethnic groups of the social, political, and economic concerns within each community. Through cross-ethnic initiatives, MDI aimed to build constructive and influential relationships between journalists and news organisations.

The project activities included the production of a Reporting Diversity Resource Manual” in both Latvian and Romanian languages; two “Train the trainer” workshops to develop specialised teaching modules for using the reporting diversity manuals. Based on this work, Florin Pescinu, director of the center for Independent Journalism (Bucharest) launched a series of seminars and round- table discussions on diversity related issues. In Latvia, Inta Brikse Head of Journalism Department at Riga University, created and introduced a “Reporting Diversity Curriculum”, which was used as a model for other journalism schools in the region,and inspired a later MDI focus on reporting diversity curriculum development for university journalism professor.

Region/country: Latvia and Romania

Timeframe/dates: 1998

Funder: The Freedom Forum

Partners: The International Federation of Journalists