Tracking Hatred: An International Dialogue on Hate Speech in the Media
The media play a crucial role in the public’s perceptions of migrant populations and their integration by providing reporting and analysis that are objective, well researched and accurate. However, both deliberate and unintentional negative portrayals of immigrants and minority groups are often found in the media, thus negatively impacting people’s views of these communities. In this context, creative measures are needed.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) launched on 2 December 2015 a new initiative to combat hate speech in the media with a one-day symposium at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Participants examined the different measures that have been taken globally to counter hate speech, and discussed their limitations. They also explored the reasons why hate speech remains a pervasive element that contributes to violent extremism, and the link between hate speech and the treatment of migrants.
The Hate Speech symposium will be followed by a series of international symposia in Europe and the MENA region in 2016 for constructive dialogue on hate speech and the sharing of best practices through debates with journalists. The next UNAOC discussion on hate speech in the media will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, during the UNAOC seventh global forum in April 2016.
STRATEGIC MEDIA CAMPAIGN & RECOMMENDATIONS
The UNAOC Hate Speech initiative also consists of a social media campaign (#SpreadNoHate) that has already reached millions of people online globally. In addition, at the conclusion of the cycle of Hate Speech symposia, UNAOC will publish a full report comprising a concrete set of recommendations. The report will be made available for download on the UNAOC website and on the websites of partner organizations, in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. The Alliance will also share the report with its international network of media organizations, journalists, government officials and institutions of higher education across the globe. Finally, the report will serve as a foundation for subsequent UNAOC initiatives in the area of media and migration.
The UNAOC Hate Speech initiative will benefit journalists of all nationalities, advocates, policy-makers and the general public by providing them with a more complete and nuanced understanding of the topic of hate speech and with concrete measures to combat it. It will also contribute to a richer public debate and better media coverage of sensitive issues related to minorities globally.
UNAOC Kicks Off the First of a Series of Symposia on the Hate Speech Initiative – 2 December 2015, UNHQ New York
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