“Together Against Discrimination” Diploma Program Tackles Diversity in the Newsroon

July 6, 2021

Amman- 15 June 2021

The 3rd session of the virtual diploma program, “Together Against Discrimination”, addressed the pluralism within newsrooms, and the management of diversity in media institutions.

“Together Against Discrimination” is a three-month training program targeting Arab journalists, researchers, and civil society professionals. It is the second component of  the “I Will Not Stay Silent” project,  launched by  ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) in partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project, Women in News / WAN-IFRA, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), and SAFE, IREX, and supported by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. The project aims at creating a safe, pluralistic, and diverse media working environment that is free of discrimination.

The session, held on 15 June 2021, was presented by Dr. Rouba El Helou, political communication and gender lecturer at the Faculty of Law and Political Science at Notre Dame University-Louaize in Lebanon, and moderated by “I Will Not Stay Silent” project manager, Mira Yassin.

El Helou started the session by defining pluralism and diversity, and noted that a trend is taking shape within international organizations, in which diversity in the workplace is seen as an asset that promotes creativity and innovation and a need for companies to reflect the diverse customer base.

El Helou added that currently, some companies and institutions view diversity as a moral responsibility, while others consider it as part of corporate social responsibility. 

El Helou also spoke about the important role human resources departments play in managing diversity within organizations and preventing all forms of discrimination within the workplace.

The participants discussed the importance of pluralism and diversity management in the workplace, especially with regard to differences related to gender, age, ability, religion, and social class, as well as obstacles that may hinder the presence of marginalized groups within work environments.

In the same context, some of the participants presented success stories from their media organizations, which have made strides in integrating minorities and providing a safe work environment for all.

El Helou concluded the session by emphasizing that inclusion and diversity in the workplace requires the cooperation of everyone within the work environment, as well as collaboration between institutions and external partners, such as civil society.

“Together Against Discrimination” focuses on equipping participants with theoretical and practical hands-on knowledge to design and implement effective internal complaints mechanisms against various forms of misuse of authority in media institutions and general media working environments, such as fraud, corruption, harassment and hate speech, to permit stakeholders to best receive, respond, investigate and report any form of alleged complaints.