Asylum attitudes under spotlight

A major piece of research on media attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and across the rest of Europe will be unveiled next week.

It is part of a European Commission -funded survey that covers newspaper and television coverage of ethnic minorities and immigrants across 15 EU member states.

The results of the survey will be revealed on 15 March and are being publicised in a "week of action" across Europe, which will include meetings with senior editorial staff as well as public debates.

International Federation of Journalists general secretary Aidan White said: "This report and the context in which it is released is a challenge to all journalists and media covering Europe."

White will introduce a set of recommendations for journalists on reporting on the multicultural society and minority groups.

"This is not a debate about controlling journalists or punishing media, it is about setting standards that will make sure journalists are telling the full story and making sure that everyone who counts is in the picture," he said.

Media ethics trust MediaWise and the Refugees, Asylum Seekers and the Media (RAM) national project are coordinating activity in the UK.

RAM national co-ordinator Terry Williams said: "Hysterical and inaccurate coverage by some sections of the UK media have raised levels of hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers."

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