WORDS MATTER

Language is our main form of communication and it plays a powerful role both in contributing to and in eliminating discrimination. Inclusive language is language that is free from words, phrases or tones that reflect prejudiced, stereotyped or discriminatory views of particular people or groups, and as such it could be understood as an aspiration for all, and particularly to producers of media content. To reflect on the reality of diverse societies, inclusive and non-discriminatory language is a must.
The activities included under this category focus on facilitating in the learners an approach and understanding to inclusive and constructive reporting with respect to the concerned social/cultural group by avoiding exclusive, offensive or/and actively discriminatory language.
These activities can be complemented by a visit to the EMAC terminology recommendations and the understanding that the use of words or terms should always been discussed and approved by those who are at the centre of the report.
Furthermore, language and terminology are always evolving and fluid. Terms that are acceptable or preferred today, might be obsolete or offensive tomorrow. It is important to check terminology regularly to ensure it is appropriated and respectful
After the activities, learners should be able to identify cases of adequate and inadequate media reporting and discuss the impact it has on audiences/readers perception of migrants, ethnic/religious minorities, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, women, youth and senior citizens.

New and Alternative Perspectives in Media

Media over-relies on so called expert sources for information and interviews. Economic pressures and the demand for immediate information are quite obstacles to proper research and analysis of data and information. In practical terms, this means that the core of the media message originates in a narrow sector of the population, whose voices and perspectives are ever present in media and in most cases, unchallenged.
These activities look at how media can be conduit for the voices of those in power and their agendas. Diversity in the media is about challenging this reality by instead of talking about minorities, offering them a voice. This approach has been proven as a good strategy to avoid stereotyping.
At the same time, it is important to understand how bias, internalised or imposed, can affect how media producers approach sources selection and content production.
By the end of the activities, learners will…

  • be able to define and understand explicit, implicit, and confirmation bias.
  • be able to examine how biases might influence the media content they produce.
  • understand the need to challenge existing narratives and looking for new angles to tell stories about minorities.

Recognising Privilege

An ethical approach to media is not exclusively about Freedom of Expression, but also about responsibility of the consequences created by media reports. The representation and stereotyping of minorities influences how they are ‘seen’ by the rest of society.
The activities in this section work towards facilitating media content producers to realise that privilege and discrimination can affect everyone in society to a certain point. By understanding where they stand in society (the privilege they have) they will have a greater awareness of the impact their report can have on the perception of the specific minority group in society.
Learners are able to identify cases of adequate and inadequate media reporting and discuss the impact it has on audiences/readers perception of minority groups.

Back to Basics

In an era of technological advance, it is time to look back and reflect on the ethical principles that underline the role of the media content producer. In particular how to ensure that these principles are implemented in a practical manner in working practices and media products.
Activities in this category look at important journalistic skills, from active listening to strategies towards accuracy and verification of data and information. Also, they aim to make learners aware of how basic fact checking works .
The activities are aimed to facilitate learners to...

  • use strategies to avoid stereotypes in reporting and communicating in the media. It will be helpful for interviewing, comprehension, and listening skills,
  • analyse diversity approaches in their editorial teams, find weaknesses and discuss ways to improve diversity approaches,
  • apply existing journalistic research skills regarding verification of information and sources.