In a Eurobarometer survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards discrimination, carried out across the EU by the Commission (EC), up to a third of Europeans (34%) thought that the media has an important role to play in combating discrimination.
Europe values diversity and seriously opposes discrimination. With the help of the media, anti-discrimination laws can be made known, used and understood. It is also crucial to involve the media for this purpose.
Numerous initiatives have been taken by a series of concerned stakeholders:
- The mainstream media themselves - in particular by recognising the lack of a diverse workforce in their own sector as one factor contributing to an insensitive treatment of various discriminated groups in society.
- The NGOs active in the field of discrimination - by monitoring the news and programmes and acting as watchdogs of their content.
- The Commission services by funding programmes, intercultural learning among journalists or broadcasters, to develop new training schemes or to promote diversity not only in the newsroom, but also in the contents of the news.
Ethnic community media has also emerged in some EU countries as a growing phenomenon.
Furthermore, some media as well as the Commission services have started to acknowledge and encourage the coverage of diversity and discrimination issues in the media by awarding prizes in relation to diversity (e.g. the EU Journalist Award funded under PROGRESS).