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Survey says media discriminates in coverage of Roma minority


Milan, May 7 - Media reports show only the negative
side of Roma and Sinti in Italy, according to a survey of
newspaper articles released Tuesday.
The survey by Naga, which often focuses on health care
services for foreigners, found that "discriminatory statements"
were made in 37.2% of articles studied.
Another 32.3% of articles differentiated between "us" -
meaning Italians - and "them," referring to Roma and Sinti, said
Naga, a non-profit organization working for better treatment of
foreigners in Italy.
For 10 months, beginning last June, Naga followed numerous
newspapers, including local and national journals including Il
Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, La Stampa, Il Sole 24 Ore,
Il Giornale, Libero, La Padania, and La Prealpina.
The survey suggested that some newspaper reports on
negative events made reference to Roma people even when they
were not directly involved in the story.
Naga called on the Italian media to improve its work.
The press "can be not only a tool of exclusion, but also of
knowledge and approach," said Naga president Cinzia Colombo.
A 2012 report on racism and intolerance by the Council of
Europe said that the situation in Italy has worsened over the
last five years.
ECRI, the human rights body of the Council of Europe that
monitors problems of racism and xenophobia, criticised a climate
of "intolerance, especially regarding Roma, immigrants
and Muslims" in a report examining the situation in Italy from
2006 to 2011.
Inflammatory media and "security measures" adopted by
Italian authorities came under fire in the report for allegedly
creating a climate that refuses integration and acceptance of
immigrants and foreigners.
Roma, sometimes referred to as Gypsies, are considered
Europe's most discriminated minority.

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