Reporting of Vulnerable Groups in Russia

Date: 29 August 2013

Country: Russia, Moscow

russia workshop august 2013There is a strong need for world’s media to establish and to implement principles of responsible reporting on diversity, migration and marginalised groups. With focus on Russian media, the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) and the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) organised a workshop in Moscow aiming to discuss media coverage of immigration and ethnic diversity.

One of the objectives of the training “Diversity and migration reporting of vulnerable groups in the media: the experience of the four regions” was to promote public dialogue on migration and to reaffirm the principles of professional ethics and the equal representation of different social groups in the Russian media.

The training held on the 29th of August at the Sakharov Centre in Moscow is part of the joint project of MDI and RUJ, “Fighting discrimination in Russia through tolerant and inclusive reporting”.

The project is being implemented in four Russian regions: Dagestan, Stavropol, Saratov and Sverdlovsk.

Discussing the topic of media reporting on diversity, migration and marginalised groups, the participants at the MDI and RUJ workshop noticed that there is a small number of reporters who fully comprehend the norms of professional ethics and understand the subject. One of the conclusions was that the elements of hate speech prevail in media reports on migration and migrants.

The trainer Anna Sevortyan, an international expert in the field of human rights protection, talked about the problems and the possible solutions. She emphasized that media cover the topic uncritically and that the journalists tend to replicate the discriminatory stereotypes.

Participants also discussed the specifics of inter-ethnic relations in the region and the role of the media in their coverage.

Particular attention has been paid to the detection of “hate speech” in Russian media and possible ways to neutralize it. One of the ways to overcome the negative trends in media reporting migration and ethnic diversity is seen in working together with the experts and journalists communities towards improving the quality of the media, journalists defending the right to freedom of expression, against further restrictions in media information.

The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) work is supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.