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Europe: Minority Realities in the News

Duration: March 2013-March 2016

Regions/countries: European Union (EU) countries, with a particular focus on Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia.

Minorities: Minorities in developing countries

What was this programme about?

  • Improve and increase the EU public’s understanding of the development issues facing minorities in developing countries.
  • Improve and increase the portrayal of these issues in the media.
  • Increase awareness among development policy-makers of the specific needs of minority and indigenous communities in developing countries.
  • Increase and improve media coverage of these issues in the context of post-2015 development framework discussions and the ongoing European economic crisis.

Why did we deliver this programme?

Many journalists in the target EU member-states have stated that they are not confident when reporting on development issues. Journalism courses in these countries still rarely pay a great deal of attention to development – and many journalists working now were trained when courses did not pay any attention to development.

This programme provided journalists with essential skills and tools to research and produce high-quality, high-interest stories concerning minority and indigenous peoples and development.

Programme activities:

Who delivered this programme with us?


  • Minority Rights Group Europe (MRGE) is the European regional office of MRG, with the aim to promote and protect the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples across Europe and Central Asia through capacity building, international advocacy, media advocacy and networking.
  • Gender Project for Bulgaria Foundation (GPF) works on achieving and guaranteeing equal opportunities of women and men to express themselves in all spheres of personal and public life through ensuring equal access to all resources of society.

Associate partners

  • The Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) is a non-profit and non-political organization with the aim of promoting ethical, fact-based journalism and independent media in Hungary.
  • Cracow University of Economics (CUE) is the largest school of economics in Poland, and the third biggest university in Cracow, a major Polish academic centre.
  • The foundation “For a Better Partnership on Journalism” organizes training for students from minority groups in Bulgaria.

Non-formal associate partner

  • Slovak Syndicate of Journalists (SSN) is an independent trade union of journalists, bringing together employees of print, radio, television and digital media, news agencies and independent journalists and columnists.

Find out more

Documentary films produced under this programme:

State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples:

Multimedia story packs:

Briefing papers:


Listen to an interview with the evaluator, Teresa Hanley, summarising the results, impact, conclusions and lessons learned from the evaluation.

This evaluation looked at Minority Realities in the News, which is a primarily EU-funded programme aiming to build the capacity of journalists in selected EU member states to report on and engage with minority communities in the Global South. It aimed to amplify reporting on development issues and ensure that journalist stories included minority elements. The programme was implemented by three partners: Minority Rights Group International (MRGI), Minority Rights Group Europe (MRGE), and the Gender Project for Bulgaria Foundation (GPF). Target states for the programme were EU-wide but with a particular focus on Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. The programme began in March 2013 and ran for three years. The evaluator found that ‘One of the major accomplishments of the programme includes the creation of an excellent online training course which has achieved significant results. It successfully recruited a wide range of journalists from across programme countries and different media. In particular, the course built journalist awareness and skills in reporting on development and minority issues’. The programme also achieved increased media coverage of development and minority issues with supported-country visits for journalists most effective in generating new stories that were printed and broadcast. These stories were appreciated by editors of media outlets for their original content and generated audience feedback. Next, the programme has produced high-quality films and television content which reached a range of audiences in and outside of the EU. National television journalists who were sponsored on country visits produced content quickly for home audiences. International filmmakers produced high-quality films which in some instances promoted recognition and debate on minorities internationally. Finally, MRG and its partners have created an extremely strong model for building capacity and media coverage. The evaluator found that it “provides good value for money and is appreciated by civil society organisations working with minority communities in the Global South as well as by journalists and editors in Europe”

The evaluator recommends that in the future, activities consider the following recommendations: to increase the proportion of resourcing allocated to the promotion of information resources and media products; to consider follow-up awards for course participants who have shown an ongoing commitment to report on minority issues; to build on current relationships and engage further with editors across Europe; to explore ways to show the commercial viability of international coverage and consider media formats additional to news; to work more closely with national Platforms for Development where they are active; to integrate more closely the production of resources by MRG with the course such as by promoting their use by course participants (past and future); and to build ways to collect data on film screenings and the numbers reached through journalist outputs.

Read the full evaluation report.


Minority Realities in the News is funded by the European Union. This content is the sole responsibility of Minority Rights Group International and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.