THE RACISM AGAINST GIPSIES
IN THE MEDIA OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
 
Objective 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. 
Importance 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.
The 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.
The 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.
Discrimination 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.
European 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.
 
 
For all that, permit us to ask you to help us in the study that we are carrying out, in order to find out about the situation in Europe with regard to the degree of racism that exists in each country and especially, in the media. We are aware that your time is precious but even so we dare to ask you to devote some minutes of that valuable time to answering our questionnaire.