General Recommendations

Here are some general recommendations for you (via the RespectWords project):

When it comes to producing quality, professional coverage of migrants and members of minority ethnic and religious communities, we recommend journalists to keep in mind the following ten overarching best practices in mind:

(1) Choose the language you use carefully. Consider the ideologies and connotations behind the words you use

(2) Challengestereotypes,and avoid sweeping generalisations. There is no one single migrant/Muslim/Jewish/Roma "community", but instead diverse communities of individuals who have more to offer than just their migrant, ethnic or religious background.

(3) Acknowledge - to yourself and to your audience - that stories about migration or ethnic and religious minorities are complex. Don't try to fit your reporting into accepted master narratives.

(4) Remember that context is essential. Report not only immediate events and consequences, but also the root causes, which often have nothing to do with a persons ethnicity or religious affiliation.

(5) Provide an appropriate range of points of view, including those of migrants and members of minority communities themselves. But don't include extremist perspectives just to "show the other side", and be alert to political and social actors who spread hate to promote theirinterests.

(6) Avoid directly reproducing hatespeech; when it is newsworthy to do so, mediate it by contextualising and challenging such speech - and exposing any false premises it relies on.

(7) Keep in mind that sensitive information (e.g., racial/ethnic origin; religious, philosophical or other beliefs; political party or union affiliation; health and sexual information) should be mentioned only when necessary for the audience to understand the news.

(8) Ensure that the title of your article or programme does not sensationalise; often, it may be all that the audience remembers.

(9) Uphold the basic principles of journalism. Verify the facts; respect the notion of "innocent until proven guilty" when reporting on crime; protect the rights of your sources, especially those in vulnerable situations.

(10) The challenges of covering migration and minority issues are constantly evolving. Take continual advantage of opportunities to develop your knowledge, skills andawareness.

Keep on reading

You are wondering how to adheer to these standards? Try using some of the activities from our training.

With the motto "Ethical Journalism against Hate Speech", the RESPECT WORDS project raises the need to rethink how media and its professionals deal issues related to migratory processes, ethnic and religious minorities.

Providing a number of exercises in technical skills and media literacy, the Understanding Media Toolbox will help you train your aspiring journalists.