||The objective of this campaign
is to find out the relationship between the media and racism in the member
states of the European Union, specially concerning Gipsy people. It is
supported by the General Direction V (Employment, Labour Relations and
Social Affairs) of the European Commission.
of the mass media
||The social importance of the media in the
modern societies means that their attitude is fundamental for the study
of racism. In particular, the treatment given to ethnic minorities can
encourage racist attitudes or help to avoid them.
creation of states of opinion
||It is a secret to nobody that the mass media
are, to a large extent, responsible for the creation of the "states of
opinion". If in the past it was said that anything that was not written
in books did not deserve to be believed, today it can be stated that the
cognitive horizon of most citizens is determined, almost completely, by
the content of the media. This has reached such an extent that, without
a shadow of a doubt, what does not appear in print or filmed by television
cameras or microphones has not happened, whilst the form in which it has
appeared unfortunately determines the public opinion towards it.
gypsies: "artists" or "delinquents"
||In this sense, the treatment that gipsy
people receive in the media constitutes one of the greatest obstacles that
prevent them from living harmoniously with the majority society. Newspapers,
radio and television networks usually base their information on gipsies
on their belonging to artistic or delinquent categories. They are superficial
conceptions, based on clichés, which are far from spreading a broad
and accurate conception of gipsy people. A conception that makes it known
that they are people with a history, a culture and their own language,
different but never inferior.
in the treatment of the news
||So, we are all accustomed to read in the
newspapers, especially on accident and crime reports, pages about "individuals
of gipsy-like appearance" or simply "gipsy". The press as well as the radio
and television, echo the events that have some criminal connection, though
afterwards it turns out that the gipsies were not guilty of the reported
incidents. But what is certain is that such a connection, already habitual,
ends up creating an association of terminology gipsy-delinquent that does
enormous damage to the prestige and respect honour, which is the right
of European gipsies, personally, and as a cultural community.
solidarity with minorities
||All this demands that gipsy people must
have the means to offset, on the one hand, the untruthful or exaggerated
information given about us; on the other hand, the stereotyped or "folk"
image that some authors create of our community; and, finally, to reinforce
and to publicise everything positive accomplished in our community, promoting
, at the same time, the gipsy culture as a heritage that belongs not only
to the 2.000.000 gipsies living in the European Union, but to the 10.000.000
of citizens that make up the European gypsy population.