2nd August 2017
By Tom Law

Media guidelines for reporting hate speech and terrorism in South Asia

The Public Media Alliance is the largest global association of public broadcasters with members in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Pacific, Asia and sub Saharan Africa. For the past seventy years, the organisation has provided a forum for knowledge exchange, advocacy, research, training and support for content development for public media worldwide. The Public Media Alliance’s current key focus is on supporting public broadcasters as they transition to become public media organisations in the digital age.

The Public Media Alliance organised a meeting in Chennai, India in October 2017 to discuss media guidelines for reporting hate speech and terrorism in South Asia. The consultation took place a day prior to the Organization of News Ombudsman conference in Chennai on 22nd October and involved senior news editors, managers and senior broadcasters as well as regulators/news ombudsmen from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and India.

The meeting discussed the importance of having such guidelines – such as the UNESCO Media and Terrorism guidelines as foundation – authored by Jean Paul Marthoz – and debated recent examples and develop key areas of importance that should be noted when developing specific guidelines for the region. It is hoped that the event will be followed up with a longer workshop next year.