Council of Europe study outlines recommendations to stop discrimination against Roma and Traveler communities in broadcasting

Dorin Cioaba (C), noul regele international al rromilor prezinta coroana catre jurnalisti dupa ceremonia de incoronare, in timpul funeraliilor tatalui lor, Florin Cioaba, in Sibiu, vineri, 23 august 2013. Florin Cioaba a încetat din viata duminica, la vârsta de 58 de ani, în spitalul Akdeniz Universitesi din Antalya. Ovidiu Micsik / Inquam Photos

A study commissioned by the Council of Europe under the European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme “Equality and Freedom from Discrimination for Roma” (EQUIROM) examines how the portrayal of Roma people in television broadcasting in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania too often contributes to the persistence of inequality, prejudice and discrimination against Roma.

The study analyses broadcast materials related to or about Roma from a variety of licensed/registered broadcasters in each country from the period January 2022 to April 2023. It also takes into consideration the EU, Council of Europe and domestic standards on anti-discrimination, combating hate speech and equal treatment, and relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights. It emphasises how the national regulatory frameworks in all four countries prohibit hate speech and discrimination against Roma people.

As a result of these findings, the study outlines recommendations to overcome the negative portrayal of Roma in the media, including the following:

  • strengthening capacities of regulatory bodies to combat hate speech
  • raising awareness among media professionals
  • avoiding negative generalisations
  • giving Roma agency in media representation
  • providing positive depictions of Roma contributions to society
  • including more Roma voices in news and media
  • avoiding dehumanising language and portraying Roma as a homogenous group

The study is available in English at this link.

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