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New programme offers grants to improve sports coverage within Europe

20 September 2011

Photo: Orin Zebest/Flickr
Photo: Orin Zebest/Flickr 

In an effort to stamp out racism and discrimination in sport, EU and the Council of Europe now offers grants for an international work exchange programme to anyone in Europe who works professionally with media and sport.

The initiative is called Media Against Racism in Sport (MARS), and it wants to find innovative ways of covering sport in the media that are better at reflecting the social and cultural diversity of European societies than the current sports coverage.

Quoting the 2005 Sports Press Survey from Play the Game, MARS points out that only five per cent of press articles cover cultural and social aspects of sport; 40 percent of all sport articles refer to only one source and 20 percent refer to no sources at all; and that female athletes have four times more chances to be covered by a female journalist than a male one but less than five percent of sport news and stories are made by female journalists.

Produce journalism, case studies or training
The new work exchange programme pairs two participants from different countries for a 10-day exchange, where each participant will act five days as a host and five days as a guest. The programme provides a plane ticket and a grant of 310 Euros  to cover living expenses for each five-day period.

The programme is open to all kinds of media professionals including journalists, photographers, photojournalists, journalism students, teachers and lecturers of journalism and media, professionals and staff members from press councils, other regulatory bodies and media unions, as well as  communication and press officers from human rights, anti-discrimination and anti-racism bodies, sports clubs, sports persons' unions and sports associations.

Participants can work in three different areas and use the programme to produce

  • exercises and modules within journalism training and media literacy
  • case studies of how non-discrimination and diversity are taken into account in media coverage
  • media reports that cover sports issues and consider non-discrimination and expression of diversity as an ongoing angle of media coverage

The exchange programme begins in October 2011 and ends in November 2012.

Learn more about the MARS exchange programme.

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