Argentinian anti-discrimination campaign targets media13 March 2013

In a new initiative that reflects global concerns on the way some media report football and set out a debate that can lead to discrimination and abuse a guide for sports journalists has been launched in Argentina.

UNICEF Argentina and the Argentinian National Institute Against Discrimination, INADI, have published a 10 step good practice guide for journalists when reporting football matches. The initiative is part of the national programme that both bodies have developed to tackle discrimination in football.

The guide was launched to give suggestions on how sports reporting can be used to promote equality and anti-discrimination values inside and outside football stadiums. The guide is aimed primarily at journalists, but also for use by football directors, players and supporters. It advises to share stories that reflect the diversity and union that sport promotes, for instance by reporting events where teams playing against each other, unite to support a cause; or to highlight players who honour fair play, respect the opposing team, and to avoid stereotypes in reporting.

Along with the guide, the campaign has also produced an information under the slogan “support your team, do not support discrimination”, to create awareness of what is considered to be discriminatory incidents, such as flags with discriminatory slogans, to increase levels of reporting.

At the launch of the campaign, INADI’s initiator Pedro Mouratian said, “It is necessary that we start to look at football from another perspective, we have to start tackling those acts that are not related to the passion for football.”

MARS project in Europe

In a similar project with a scope across Europe, the Council of Europe initiated the MARS (Media Against Racism in Sport) programme in 2008. The programme aims to stimulate media cross-practices in the field of training, production and editorial management with a view to implementing an “inclusive and intercultural approach to media content production”.