French journalists and civil society call for more diversity in sports’ news coverage

November 16, 2011

The first national encounter of the Media against Racism in Sports (MARS) project took place in Lille, France on 14-15th November. Thirty journalists and representative of civil society groups reflected on how to develop sound editorial guidelines and journalistic practices to combat racism and strengthen expression of diversity in sports’ news reports and beyond.

The need to enforce charters and codes of ethics, increase women’s contributions in the news, improve independence of newsrooms, extend journalists’ sources of information, reinforce journalists' education and life-long training and launch a national survey on diversity in the news were among the tools identified to strengthen diversity in news content. Discussions also highlighted the values of the Munich Charter on journalists’ duties and rights and the International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) Declaration of principle which warns against the danger of discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation and religion.

The encounter was organised by the French journalists' union, SNJ-CGT, an affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) , with the support of the Council of Europe and the European Commission.

It was the first of a series of 5 national encounters to be organised by EFJ affiliates in Poland, Denmark, Bulgaria, Spain. A European encounter on ethics and editorial management is scheduled for May 2012 in the United Kingdom.

For more information, visit the Ethical Journalism Initiative or the MARS website.