Workshop: Inclusion and audience interaction are essential to prevent hate in the media

Civil society representatives and journalists from professional, community and refugee media organizations across Europe gathered in Concordia Press Club in Vienna, Austria, for the first media literacy workshop part of the Media against Hate campaign. The focus of the 2-day workshop was on connection – through storytelling and audience interaction – as the first step in hate prevention.

Trainers Mukti Jain Campion (UK) and Tim Verheyden (Belgium), both experienced documentary journalists, shared creative approaches to reporting and including under-represented voices and stories. They invited participants to develop their own storytelling ideas, either as audio, video, articles, multimedia, in professional or community media, or as part of NGO campaign work, and to share them after the workshop.

Daniela Kraus, managing director of fjum_forum journalismus und medien wien, moderated a talk with Ingrid Brodnig, a young Austrian journalist and author who has written extensively about online hate speech. Ingrid, who has repeatedly been the target of threats and harassment because of her work as a journalist, shared her tips for keeping discussion forums free from hate and stressed the importance of engaging with the ‘silent’ audience. The recording of the session is available at https://cloud.freiesradio-nms.de/index.php/s/Mf4h1HW4IB7b06Z

The participants, 24 women and 8 men aged between 19 and 63, came from Greece, Croatia, UK, Germany, Bulgaria, Rumania, Czech Republic, Belgium, Poland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Austria; their nationalities also included Syria, US, Italy, Spain and Cameroon. They shared examples of how their own work fosters inclusion and connection across borders and communities:
– the Salam Show on community radio ARA in Luxembourg is a weekly program in Arabic and English for newcomers and locals, that aims to bridge the gap between different cultures.
– the NGO Maks in Brussels uses digital story projects to work with young people with a migrant background around various topics, including radicalisation and social cohesion based on interreligious contacts.
– the project Solomon in Athens believes that social inclusion is also “being an immigrant that does not write about migration issues” and promotes the Inclumedia Lab, connecting tandems of im/migrants who are willing to become journalists or used to work as journalists in their home countries with local students of journalism.
– the Digital Opportunities Foundation (Stiftung Digitale Chancen – SDC) in Germany honours projects, initiatives and people that make best use of social media for their social and or cultural engagement with the “Smart Hero Award”.
– Join Media is an Austrian initiative that tries to support refugee/newcomer journalists and put them in contact with Austrian media.
– the Portuguese daily newspaper Publico has a system for moderation of online comments that also involves readers as ‘reader-moderators’.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors U.S., project co-funders, presented the platform BBG Direct which offers content for re-broadcast at no cost, produced by local, independent journalists around the world.

The workshop organisers COMMIT and CMFE also invited participants to follow the upcoming CIVILMEDIA17 & MEDIANA UnConference in Salzburg, Austria, on June 15.-17.

Media against Hate is financially supported by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union, and co-funded by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (U.S.) and the Media & Internet Division of the Council of Europe.