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German media peddling anti-Roma stereotypes

Gabriella Valczkay, Deutsche Welle, 23.6.2021

“There is little willingness to reflect on portrayals of Roma people. Wierich said Amaro Foro therefore launched a five-year project to raise awareness among journalists. They want to make it as easy as possible for journalists and photographers to participate in workshops that will help them avoid perpetuating stereotypes. […]

Amaro Foro activists saw a need to offer awareness-raising workshops after following the media coverage on inter-European migration. Many journalists tended to frame this phenomenon as poverty-driven migration, focusing on run-down residential buildings, homelessness, welfare fraud and begging — thereby perpetuating age-old stereotypes according to which Roma people are poor and prone to commit crimes.

“Roma is a self-designation, which most journalists do not seem to understand,” Wierich said. “Journalists label people as Roma only when they conform to a certain pre-conceived image, for instance when they are reporting on an informal camp in a park somewhere.” Problematically, she said, journalists tend to focus on such stories, thus creating a distorted picture of Roma people.”