This week German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed".

What role should the media play in promoting multiculturalism? Should it play one at all?

Is the media responsible in Germany and any other countries for failing multiculturalism?

I'm interested to here everyone's ideas on this...


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I think that media and politics together play a role in forming perceptions about other cultures. Unfortunately, media is sometimes misused to serve politics. That's the main problem that's causing many of us to think that the differences between the East and the West are huge and just can't be bridged.
I think a first question to ask is: what is meant by the "failure of multiculturalism" ? What is the objective exactly? Peaceful co-existence between communities? or integration of migrants ? or what?
Second, holding the media sole responsible for that failure looks to me as highly reductive. I agree with Nikos that politicians have certainly their part to play; but then what should we do as journalists? Limit the echo we give to racist/discriminatory/limitative speeches by politicians ? Reflect them but at the same comment and put into perspective? Insist on their responsability when they talk? Condemn?
I would be very interested by the views of the colleagues.
Magda
I think constructive journalism is key to the media industry being perceived as a good thing worth supporting in today's societies, particularly given the financial squeeze which the industry is feeling. Too much of what is given space in the media is negative.

I'm not saying a focus on 'sweetness and light' should push out important news stories or hard-hitting features. But I do feel that the media should focus on positive/useful stories and take far more responsibility for what they publish.

A report from the 'What's the blogging story' conference last Friday raised some interesting points about media accountability in the digital age.
I totally agree with Emma Brewin, that negative is much more given space then optimistic stories. And in the case of multiculturism kind of optimistic appreach could play an important role to solve the problem and not deepen it.
Hello Aghavni, welcome to the group; nice to hear from you.
So what you say is that media should concentrate more on positive stories about multiculturalism. I actually agree with you.
How can we explain then that journalists like to actually feature 'problem' stories? Do you think this is linked to economic imperatives (sensationalist papers sell better???) or is this just a poor excuse?
Magda
I wonder who is actually behind the 'problem' stories. Are the editors or publishers pushing these angles?

Or do journalists like to make a name for themselves with sensationalist articles that get wider coverage/commentary?
Sorry for late reply) Dear Magda, i think the issue is in the expectations of sensationalist papers, good stories are assumed to be not so attractive and interesting as the problematic ones. But in any case, I think it is better to try to have good stories for making readers familiar with this kind of approach. What do you think?

Since media plays an important role in transmitting ideologies (racial or political), social responsibilities of journalists goes beyond reporting facts. Press should value inclusiveness and diversity in order to maintain social harmony. While sensationalism does sell papers, it erodes people's trust in media and leaves many voices unheard.

Yah, mam you are right its only media who can guide or miss guide people. Its the media responsibility to show right path to public. In Germany or other country we cant say that media is sole responsible for failing multiculturalism because there are allot of issues in every country which are responsible for failing multiculturalism such as, political conditions, economic condition, illiteracy, unemployment etc.if you do you think so then i can explain every reason.
Ajay Kumar

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