Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Media stereotype Roma minority, analysis shows

9 April 2013

Prague, April 8 (CTK) - Czech media carry stereotypical information on Romanies and contribute to the worsening of their public image, according to an analysis by the government social integration agency that was released yesterday, International Roma Day.

According to the analysis, three fifths of 6300 items on Romanies published between autumn 2011 and end-May 2012 concerned crime.

The analysis mapped items in 19 dailies, television and radio stations and on servers after the unrest in the Sluknov vicinity, north Bohemia, New Year Day's shooting in Tanvald, north Bohemia, and an invented Romany attack on a boy in Breclav, south Moravia.

The situation in the Sluknov area was aggravated by several incidents between Romanies and other inhabitants in 2011, that were followed by anti-Romany demonstrations and marches held in north Bohemia.

On January 1, 2012 a man shot dead a young male Romany and injured another one in Tanvald. The state attorney qualified the deed as necessary defence.

In Breclav a boy claimed last year that he was injured by Romanies, but it showed he hurt himself.

"Repeated linking Romanies with crime results in the term Romany directly implying crime in a number of reports without mentioning it," the analysis authors says.

The largest space, nine out of ten texts on Romanies, was devoted to crime by the tabloid daily Blesk, followed by server, television stations Prima and Nova with more than four fifths, server with three quarters and with 71 percent of crime items.

The analysis authors said Romanies were mentioned as perpetrators in four fifths of reports on Romanies and only one fifth of them wrote about them as victims.

The analysis says media output on the Romany minority is little varied. Crime as the main subject of texts was followed by extremism and housing.

There were substantially fewer reports on culture, the activities of NGOs, history, employment, education and the government agency.

The agency says ethnicity is stated in reports, particularly on crime, even when it plays no role.

The "concept of a decent Romany" is being strengthened, for instance, where trouble-free Romany families are unnecessarily highlighted, the analysis writes.

Space is given to seemingly correct, but in fact racist statements by politicians and other people. The stereotypes and uniformity of reporting are also strengthened by the taking over of news from the CTK agency, the analysis says.

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