The new media does not present enough the voice of the minoIMG_0277rities groups when they prepare media products referring to a minority group. Most often new media  tend to use “ready-made news” likewise statements from the state organs or news agencies. The texts, the audio or video contributions are moreover in the form of news or reports. Reportages, interviews with comments or other analytical or belletristic type of news genres are less present. The new media often run the news in a way as traditional news do, not using enough links or multimedia contents.

These are some of the main findings from the first regional new media monitoring presented by Marko Troshanovski, the leading Project Researcher. Monitoring encompassed 15 new media from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Macedonia, where the team of researchers analyzed all minority-related media products published on the exclusively online media in the period June and July 2015.

“Most frequent type of minorities present in the new media reporting are the refugees and migrants. The reporting on the different types of minorities is generally politically correct with individual examples for discrimination and hate speech, usually towards the Roma community or the refugees and asylum seekers“, emphasized Marko Troshanovski, main Project Researcher (results of research are available for download).

The forth Youth forum that took place on 3rd and 4th March in Skopje, Macedonia was the final one within the project Youth Challenging Diversity – Representation of Minorities in the New Media. Participants from Croatia, F.Y.R of Macedonia, Greece, and Bulgaria, coordinated by Mladiinfo International led meaningful discussion on benefits, challenges, positive stories as well as stereotypes that new media bring in context of diversity.

Youth forum brought together 50 young people aged 18 – 35 from 14 countries of the Central and Eastern Europe. In four discussion panels they were able to deliver their thoughts, research and perspectives on the matters of ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, refugee crisis, asylum seekers, peIMG_0393ople with disabilities and more. They also analyzed how to provide open access to the new media to all citizens as well as how to build good multicultural practices in the media by presenting examples of cooperation and well living-together.

Moreover practitioners, journalists and experts focusing on minority rights from Macedonia were invited to discuss how the representation of minorities in media can be improved and what new media could do to promote objectivity and impartiality in reporting minority-related stories.

“Minorities by default feel underrepresented. If EU Member states do not change attitudes towards minorities, media will not do so either. Sharing of successful stories can help to improve the image of minorities created by media, talking about Roma in particular”, explains Georgios Papadakis – Spokesperson of European Free Alliance, Brussels, Belgium, who guested at the main panel session of the forum.

“We lack analytical approach in articles, because they mostly are information sharing”, says Ana Zuzic – Project Researcher at Mladiinfo Croatia, Umag, Croatia

In addition, recommendations on how to report on national minorities and how to promote diversity were delivered to the media in all participating countries, international organizations, NGOs, municipalities and other relevant stakeholders. The 10 recommendations are available here.

Apart the representatives from the partner organizations of Youth challenging diversity project: Mladiinfo International (FYR Macedonia), Europe for Diversity, Culture, Coexistence and Citizenship (Greece), Media Development Center (Bulgaria) and Mladiinfo Croatia (Croatia), the presentations and the panel discussions featured also eminent representatives of the Slovak, Romanian, Austrian and German embassies, as well as of the civil and media sector representatives in the region.

The fourth youth forum “Representation of Minorities in the New Media in Central and Eastern Europe” within the Youth Challenging Diversity – Representation of Minorities in the New Media project was supported by the programs of Europe for Citizens and Central-European Initiative.

Find additional information on the previous Youth Forums HERE.