On 14 September, Dr Greta Gober presented partial project results at a Media Plus journalism workshop for Polish editorial staff.
The workshop scenario was prepared by Dr Gober and Prof. Jupowicz-Ginalska based on the partial results of our research project. The workshop was devoted to issues of diversity in the media in connection to democracy. Participants in the workshop, together with the presenter, were asked to reflect on the criteria for measuring media diversity and inclusivity from the perspective of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Federation of Journalists (EJF).
Seeking information about the D&I activities of these organizations, workshop participants wondered:
– How is diversity defined?
– How is diversity motivated (from a business, normative or other perspective)?
– What language is used to describe diversity?
– What events are linked to D&I? Workshops? Training?
– What are the pros and cons of the D&I strategies chosen by the organizations in question?
The practice of managing ‘discursive’ diversity in the media was discussed using examples from Poland, Sweden and the UK. In this part of the workshop, Dr Gober presented the theoretical assumptions of managing diversity as polyphony, discussing the conditions necessary for polyphonic dialogue (‘all voices different but equal’) to occur.
The workshop was also an excellent opportunity to consider how diversity considerations can support Polish editorial staff, given their specific location in the news media ecosystem. In this context, among others, the discussion about the collaboration between minority and mainstream journalists was, according to the participants, most valuable and informative part of the workshop. Other critical skills highlighted by journalists and employees of the Polish media were:
– (ability) to cover so-called ‘sensitive’ or controversial political topics in the pages of Polish media in a way that does not demolish the potential for future dialogue between editors, readers, civil society, mainstream media, etc.
– (examples of) minority media business models that support diversity in a way that does not put the editorial team at risk of, for example, losing readers (who, for example, come from conservative backgrounds)
– (resisting) tendencies to use national minorities for so-called political purposes and to play the ‘minority card’ to stir up national conflicts,
– (skillfully navigating) the discussion on the defense of human rights when confronted with the argument of ‘exploiting’ human rights against a particular state or political force.
The workshop was attended by seven people, mainly journalists and Polish media workers from Lithuania, Moldova, and the Czech Republic. The workshop was co-financed by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister in the framework of the competition “Polonia and Poles abroad 2022”. This was the fourth edition of the Media Plus journalism workshops organized by Foundation for the Development of Journalism Education (Fundacja na rzecz Rozwoju Szkolnictwa Dziennikarskiego).