Reynald BLION, Council of Europe
Media & Diversity Manager / Programme Manager
MARS - Media Against Racism in Sport
Reynald Blion is Media & Diversity Manager for the Directorate General Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport. Until December 2010, he has been responsible for the implementation of the Media & Diversity part of the Speak out against discrimination Campaign of the Council of Europe. Within the same Directorate General, he has joined in January 2011 the Directorate Culture and Heritage and its Division Cultural Policy, Dialogue and Diversity. Reynald BLION manages the European Union / Council of Europe joint programme MARS – Media Against Racism in Sport; programme he conceived and developed on the basis of previous actions of the Council of Europe and of the results of its antidiscrimination Campaign. More globally, in his division, he contributes to facilitate and develop Council of Europe’s actions in the field of Media, Diversity & Intercultural Dialogue in Europe ; issues on which he specialised for more than fifteen years. He produced, or contributed, to several publishing as, for example, Tell us about diversity! A practical Approach to Intercultural Media Content, Strasbourg, Council of Europe, 2011, To fight against discrimination and for cultural diversity: a major challenge for the media in: Cavdar A., Yildirim A.B. (Eds), Hate Crimes and Hate Speech, Istanbul, The International Hrant Dink Foundation Publication, 2010, Le “Non” de Journalistes Européens, Agenda interculturel, n° 275, 2009, Europe’s ethnic and diversity media: Beyond mere visibility in: C. Dientz, P. Stamen (Eds), Media on the move. Migrants and minorities in the media, Aachen, CAMECO, 2009,Ethnic media and diversity in Europe in: Georgiou M., Transnational lives and the media, Londres, Routledge, Aug. 07, Médias et diversité, de la visibilité aux contenus, Paris, Panos / Karthala, Dec. 08, Parler de l’autre / Parler d’ailleurs. De la visibilité à l’expression des diversités en Europe in: Rigoni I., Qui a peur de la télévision en couleur ?, Paris, Aux lieux d’être, May 07, Media & Information, pratiques et réalités de la Diversité, Paris, Panos, Apr. 06,Représentation des immigrés au sein des media: bilan des connaissances, Paris, Panos / Fasild, July 06, Media & Information, pratiques et réalités de la Diversité, Paris, Panos, apr. 06…
MARS - Media, Diversity & Sport - Key Figures!
In Europe, only a quarter of news subjects are women, even though they account for over half of the European population (GMMP, 2010)! While immigrants represent around 10% of the EU population (Eurostat, 2011) migrants and ethnic minorities represent less than 5% of the main actors in the news in Europe (Ter Wal, 2004). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people represent roughly 6% of the population of the United Kingdom but account for less than 1% of the population seen on TV. 20% of the British population is disabled but less than 1% is represented in British TV (CDN 2009-10 Progress Report).
Through the sources they use, the subjects they select and the treatment they choose, the media influence the agenda (what to think about) and public perception (how to think) of contemporary debates. This is why the Council of Europe considers truly inclusive information - where everyone can participate as witnesses, players, producers etc. - to be crucial for social cohesion and democratic participation. But today, too many people are still excluded from public debates!
The MARS - Media Against Racism in Sport – EU / CoE joint programme chooses to focus, though not exclusively, on sport because it is considered as an important area for building social cohesion as it is also a major sector of investment in the media industry. However, sport media coverage does not reflect social and cultural diversity and does not ensure equity for all. Only 5% of press articles cover cultural and social aspects of sport; 40% of all sport articles refer to only one source and 20 % refer to no sources at all; female athletes have four times more chances to be covered by a female journalist rather than a male one but less than 5% of sport news and stories are made by female journalists (Play the Game, 2005)!
Building upon standards set by various Council of Europe bodies on media pluralism, expression of diversity and non discrimination and the outcome of the 2008-10 CoE’s antidiscrimination Campaign, the MARS – Media Against Racism in Sport – EU / CoE joint programme aims at considering non discrimination and expression of diversity as an ongoing angle of media coverage.
Through this approach applied to sport coverage, MARS wants to encourage innovative modes of media content production that could be reproduced in all media sectors and used by any form of media coverage. By stimulating media cross-practices in the field of training, ethics and production, MARS aims at implementing an inclusive and intercultural approach to media content production. To achieve these outcomes, the MARS programme offers media professionals (journalism students and trainers, journalists, media managers, etc.) to participate in National and European Media Encounters and Media Work Exchanges conceived as first steps towards a European media network against racism and for intercultural dialogue.