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Home / Resources / News / Citizens’ consultation on Roma coverage in mainstream media: findings for the Citizens Manifesto

Citizens’ consultation on Roma coverage in mainstream media: findings for the Citizens Manifesto

“Word of Gitano? The voices that are not heard on TV”
Roma people and mainstream media
Thursday, 25th of April 2013
Hall ADEIT Degrees, Foundation University-Industry of the University of Valencia, Valencia

Find out more information about the Citizens Manifesto, about the Valencia consultation and about the European Citizens’ Initiative for Media Pluralism: sign here!You can download the findings of this citizens’ consultation here.

The consultation on Roma people and mainstream media, organised by European Alternatives, brought together citizens, journalists and experts on Roma communities and media, who debated issues related to the marginalization of minorities in Spain and the EU and the media coverage of these topics.

Participating organisations included the Movement Against Intolerance , FERYP (Forum of European Roma Young People), Ververipen, Rroms for the Diversity,, International Foundation for Human Rights, Youth amb Initiative , Unió de Periodistes Valencians (UPV), Associació de Periodistes Profesionals Valencians (APPV)

Table discussions: issues to be debated and introduction to the key proposals

The proposals numbered below were elaborated through discussions using the World Café methodology. They reflect the opinions held by the majority of those who participated in the public consultation, even though their opinions and ideas often displayed a variety of positions. Some of the proposals were developed on several discussion tables, but for the sake of clarity, similar concerns have been merged together.  If you wish to react to or comment on a proposal – or even suggest new ideas – please use the “comments” box at the bottom of the page.

Proposals for media coverage on Roma

After an introduction to the topic by Angel Galan, journalist and coordinator of the Movement against Intolerance in Valencia and a round table discussion, the speakers and participants formulated ten suggestions for dealing with collective information about the Roma community and other minorities. Discussions were led by Demetrio Gomez (social activist and spokesperson of the Forum of European Roma Young People, founder of  Ververipen and Board of the International Foundation for Human Rights, blogger ( and Antonio Cortés Tower from the political party “Youth with Initiative”, youth Roma leader.
Mass media is the main transmitter of images, topics and opinions that shape the general opinion on the community and culture of Roma and other minorities. Often, the media prefers to sell negative messages about minorities, such as stories about crimes, poor living conditions and prosecution, thus picturing the minorities with a negative and weak image. Citizens and civil society organisations call upon a fast action and responses against the dissemination of racist and xenophobic messages by the media.

Proposals for journalists1.  Media coverage of minority groupsmust be in accordance with ethical standards, which means for journalists not to present minority groups in a way derogatory to the group, inducing stereotypes, taking particular care to terms used to define and describe the group.2. Associations between particular individual stories and a minority group such as the Romashould be avoided and information on such cases double-checked.

3. More focus should be given in the media to success stories of Roma people, understood as success in professional, educational or social environments, in order to foster the creation of role models in the community and to acknowledge the existence of difference and diversity within the Roma community.

Legislative and general proposals:

4. Media coverage that violates the dignityor that involves discrimination of minorities because of their colour, race, sex, religion or ideology should be included in legislation against hate speech and hate crimes.

5. Create a European Media Councilto regulate and monitor the performance of the media, as called for in the European Citizens’ Initiative for Media Pluralism.

6. Introduce compulsory training through university courses targeted at certain groups of professionals such as journalists, lawyers or social workers to raise awareness on minority issues.

7.Society should protect the cultural identity of the Roma community, since the existence of cultural differences is an asset that enriches humanity.