Media Diversity Institute

What do we do ?

The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) works internationally to encourage and facilitate responsible media coverage of diversity. It aims to prevent the media from intentionally or unintentionally spreading prejudice, intolerance and hatred which can lead to social tensions, disputes and violent conflict. MDI encourages instead, fair, accurate, inclusive and sensitive media coverage in order to promote understanding between different groups and cultures.

The rationale

The powerful influence of the media on our societies is well known – it shapes our views and our behaviour. Although the media often aggravate divisions in society, exclude moderate and minority voices, and foment conflict, they also possess an enormous capacity to contribute to the solution of these very problems.

People experience diversity in many ways : race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, income, and so on. Diversity can inspire social and economic progress, vibrant communities, and a richness of life. All too often, however, diversity engenders inequality, suspicion, fear, discrimination, repression, and violent conflict.

Journalists and media organisations hold a unique power to shape our experience of diversity. Through their actions, they can help diverse communities gain visibility and acceptance, or they can exacerbate misunderstanding and create division among different groups and cultures. The war in the former Yugoslavia and the genocide in Rwanda are among the more extreme examples of how the media can play a powerful role in tearing apart multi-ethnic communities by inciting hatred but, in all societies across the world, almost without exception, prejudice, intolerance, and misunderstanding fostered by the media cause various levels of problems and difficulties.

MDI believes it is critically important that the international community explore the vast potential of the media to help foster tolerance and understanding between different groups and cultures.

Adress : 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 7DA, UK

Tel : +44 (0) 20 7255 2473

Fax : +44 (0) 20 7580 8597

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