Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Vienna
The conference "Racism, Xenophobia and the Media: Towards Respect and Understanding of All Religions and Cultures" was held in the framework of the Austrian Presidency of the EU, and had been co-organised with the European Commission and the EUMC.
Austrian State Secretary Hans Winkler, European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and EUMC Director Beate Winkler opened the conference in Vienna.
"Dialogue between media, civil society, faith groups and policy-makers is the way forward to eradicate racism," said EUMC Director Beate Winkler at the opening of the Conference. "Showing cultural diversity in mainstream programmes, employing minority journalists, and training of journalists can reinforce the positive influence that the media can play."
Keynote speakers, amongst others, included:
Doudou Diène, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism;
Aidan White, General Secretary, International Federation of Journalists;
Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights;
Miklos Haraszti, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.
After an open exchange of views, conference participants mapped out improvements in journalism practice and structures that might enhance understanding about cultural differences. The emphasis throughout was on effective self-regulation. There were also calls from journalists to learn (more) about cultural and religious diversity as part of their training.
Suggestions from the conference participants included: