Experts call for more fundamental rights media training

Media experts underlined the need to strengthen rights awareness and human rights reporting by media professionals during a meeting at FRA on 26-27 January.

The meeting aimed to discuss how best to jointly create a toolkit to help raise awareness among online, print and audiovisual media professionals about fundamental rights to avoid unintentional bias that reinforce stereotypes.

The future toolkit will be based on the successful ‘Media Diversity Toolkit’, co-produced by FRA and the European Broadcasting Union in 2008. Approximately 1,000 media professionals including press officers from national ministries were trained using the previous toolkit.

During the meeting, FRA collected feedback on how the first toolkit was developed and used as the foundation for a wider fundamental rights toolkit for the media that looks beyond the focus of diversity and minorities of the original toolkit. There was broad agreement on the need for an enhanced scope to cover fundamental rights more widely drawing on a wider range of journalists given the convergence of so many media channels. Participants also reiterated the need for a modern up-to-date fundamental rights toolkit to contribute to the professional development of media professionals that would help them to factually report about fundamental rights without using biased language and to link issues they report on to fundamental rights.

The meeting brought together media and diversity trainers, broadcast and visual journalists, as well as representatives of associations for journalists and viewers interests.