MEDIVA Second European Workshop
Dublin City University (DCU)
2-3 February 2012
A two-day event, comprising an afternoon symposium and a full-day workshop took place at Dublin City University (DCU) February 2-3, 2012 within the framework of the MEDIVA project.
The first day symposium was intentionally wide-ranging - with a select number of invited speakers presenting papers on different aspects of diversity in European media. After a welcome message and a short introduction from Dr. Neil O'Boyle on the project's focus and aims the floor was given to the invited speakers. The first presentation by Dr Myria Georgiou was dedicated to the issue of the ways of understanding the media, in general and to the issue of media consumption across a culturally diverse Europe, in particular. The discussion was continued by Dr. Sirin Dilli who talked about media diversity and addressed such recently emerging concepts as ‘mediatisation’ and ‘Cyberbalkanization’. After a short coffee break Dr. Verica Rupar engaged into the discussion of inclusive journalism and the examination of media coverage of ethnicity and religion in 9 EU countries. The last presentation of the day was offered by Professor Heike Graf, from Södertörn University who shared her findings of the ethnic diversity in German and Swedish Newsrooms. Finally, Debbie Ging commended shift from content analysis to dialogue with practitioners in research in this area. She drew attention to ambiguities surrounding the meaning of “diversity” and questioned the core competencies of journalists. She also underlined a need to better integrate intercultural awareness into third-level education of journalists.
Programme, 2 February 2012
In contrast to the first day symposium, the second day workshop on 3 February focused narrowly on "diversity training", with participants including both academic researchers and industry professionals. After a brief introduction to the main objectives of the MEDIVA project by the coordinator of the project, Prof. Anna Triandafyllidou, Dr. Iryna Ulasiuk familiarized the participants of the workshop with the first important deliverable of the MEDIVA project, namely the MEDIVA bibliographic database. Further, the focus was switched to the presentation by Dr. Neil O'Boyle and Franziska Fehr of the findings of the MEDIVA draft report on diversity training. A group session was introduced in order to discuss the recommendations from the report in more detail and to get individual feedback from the participants (availing of their professional experience and background). There were two parts of the session. In Exercise 1: Rating of recommendations, the participants were asked to rate the 7 recommendations from the report (in terms of priority 1-7) in relation to a) their importance and b) their feasibility. Rating sheets were collected and counted and the results displayed at the final discussion. In Exercise 2: Group discussions, the participants of the workshop were split into six small groups. Each group was asked to discuss one of the recommendations from the report in detail, considering three questions: the usefulness of the recommendation, the steps which might be taken to put the recommendation into practice and the difficulties/obstacles in realising this recommendation and ways they can be overcome. The results of the group discussions were then presented to the plenary. Finally DCU’s liaison journalists Dil Wickremasinghe summed them up and put them into context.
After a short break, Catherine Reilly, Dil Wickremasinghe, Heike Graf, Frans Jennekens
and Aidan White gave their comments to the report. Catherine Reilly gave a response to the report and the findings from her perspective as professional journalist working on ethnic minority issues for different outlets of the Irish media, mainstream as well as specialist (e.g. Metro Éireann, intercultural newspaper)
Dil Wickremasinghetalked about her experience as one of the only mainstream journalists with migrant background in Ireland. She introduced her radio show “Global Village” and talked about covered issues, perception and audience reaction to the show.Heike Graf responded to the report in relation to the paper she presented the day before and the need to see diversity training as core competence for media professionals.
Frans Jennekenstalked about his own experience and the situation of media and diversity in the Netherlands and shared some insights (e.g. on the public service broadcaster). He also gave some examples on mentoring programmes, mixed production teams and other successful measures that help diversify the newsroom and i.e. the TV programme. Aidan White stressed the need to cultivate an editorial culture in news organisations. The workshop was ended with a roundtable discussion.
Programme, 3 February 2012