4 October 2006

MEDIA FAILING TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE


Romania's media touts itself as an important player in the fight against corruption, but when it comes to promoting tolerance, it plays to the prejudices of its consumers and does a poor job of fighting racist attitudes, argues the head of the European Roma Grassroots Organisation in a recent issue of "Index on Censorship".

"Far from performing an educational role, the media forms part of the political and judicial structures that effectively ensure an almost complete ban on the exposure of racism, discrimination, inequality and violence," writes Valeriu Nicolae. "Discussion of such issues is seen as prejudicial to the country's efforts to join the European Union."

Romania's media is largely commercially driven, and there is little appetite or will for producing programming that promotes tolerance for ethnic minorities such as the Roma, or gender equality, Nicolae says. "Commercial television and tabloid newspapers overwhelmingly portray Roma in a negative light, reproducing the conventional racist stereotypes."

Leading intellectuals and opinion-makers openly promote anti-Roma attitudes in the press, including Andrei Cioroianu, who writes a column for the magazine "Dilema", and Mircea Radu, host of a popular TV show on Antena 1, notes Nicolae.

To read Nicolae's article in "Index on Censorship", visit: http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2006-09-21-nicolae-en.html
For information on media and freedom of expression in Romania, visit: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/211/

 
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