The Blame Game: The Choice of Words in the Media Depiction of Roma

ROMEDIA FOUNDATION

In a world that increasingly sees the use of  insensitive and racially charged terms as being unacceptable in public speech, the manner in which the media covers issues regarding Roma still trails behind all across Europe, with expressions ranging from the patronizing to the down-right offensive still being the norm in the media vernacular. Rather than being just an issue of journalistic ethics, some of these ill-conceived choices of words have very real consequences on the way the Roma are perceived and treated.

In recent years, the mainstream media’s level of outright hate-speech against minorities has somewhat subsided, while still, predictably, thriving in nationalist publications and independent blogs. While this new-found political correctness should definitely be applauded, it seems to have skipped the Roma, who are still treated in a horrendous manner by virtually any news story.  Even apparently benign use of language should also be more deeply scrutinized, being…

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