The case recently of two Roma teenagers being caught and charged with stealing and eating a dog in Krompachy did not deter the two youngsters, who have now been charged with eating another dog, this time an 11-month old golden retriever.
According to Cas.sk, the two youngsters, Angela (16) and Tomas (18) could spend two years behind bars for their actions, but Tomas is claiming that he pleaded guilty under pressure from the police and that he had not killed any dog. The charges remain in place, though.
Whilst the kidnapping, killing and eating of not one but two family pets is deplorable, one wonders what drives someone to such extreme measures ? If starvation is the motivation, then I ask myself why these teenagers didn’t just go shop-lifting ? But then I realise that maybe if they entered a supermarket, they would probably be under intense scrutiny from store detectives and may not have the chance to ‘lift’ something. Surely the community in which they live bears some responsibility ? And if their community cannot or will not help then maybe some government body could provide something like a soup-kitchen to help feed the less fortunate members of society during these hard times ?
From Human Rights Reporting by the International Federation of Journalists: ” Ethnic minorities
Coverage of minority ethnic groups is often hostile, sensationalist or completely absent from majority media. In part this issue was covered in the previous chapter when discussing hate speech, but minority ethnic groups can also simply disappear from the media and not be regarded as an audience. One way to improve coverage of minority ethnic groups and issues is to recruit from a wider ethnic pool, so that newsrooms start to reflect more
accurately the ethnic composition of populations. Whoever is in the newsroom, the job of the journalist is to challenge received wisdom and open up coverage to people from minority ethnic groups. This does not simply mean ‘balancing’ stories full of accusations with denials, but reporting on the lives of people in minority communities so that they see and recognise themselves in the media. It also means broadening the range of contacts, so that media avoid relying only on a few spokespeople. Part of the process of dehumanising a minority ethnic group is quoting only their most extreme representatives. Minority ethnic groups are made up of men, women and children with many different viewpoints and beliefs. The contacts between journalists and members of the ethnic group should reflect this. This is not just good journalism, but good economics as well. Many newspapers, magazines and broadcast channels shut themselves off from minority ethnic groups and could increase their audiences if they broadened their appeal.
Re: United Kingdom’s Press Complaint Commission (PCC), Art. 12 of the PCC’s code, entitled “Discrimination”, requires:
“1) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.
2) Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.”
“PCC FAQ – ‘Why does Clause 12 (Discrimination) apply only to named individuals rather than groups of people?’
Answer: The Code was specifically designed to protect individuals, and any equivalent protection for groups of people would place serious restrictions on freedom of expression. Clause 12 (Discrimination) is designed to prevent named individuals from being subjected to discriminatory reference, and was changed in 2004 to refer to ‘an individual’s race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability’ in order to make this especially clear. In some cases, it may actually be more appropriate for you to consider making a complaint about the reporting of groups of people under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code instead. For example, if you feel that an article has made unfair references to a particular group, you may be able to argue that those references are inaccurate or misleading in breach of Clause 1. We can advise you further on this if necessary.”
Gregory, this is a muse paper not a newspaper ….
Have you never seen Jon Stewart and his show on TV, or had the pleasure of seeing Fox News invent a topical issue, we should all be so worried about, from filming a Obama Party member dropping a fag packet ( shock, horror hold the front page ) in the street ?
Ok so then, your title in the would be article would read:”two women at fault in a car crash” – right?! I think Greg is making a very good point here. The issue isn’t that the author merely mentions they are Roma but in fact emphasizes THAT fact over everything else by putting it in the title. If the author’s intention was to address social issues re. Roma then why not address them by writing about it in the article? I do not see any discussion about that in this article. Why not explore the claim that the boy is making about being coerced? That is a social issue right there and yet the author chooses to to ignore it. If you ask me that should have been your title not that Roma ear dogs!!
The first time this story was reported, to the author’s credit, the ethnicity of the accused was not specified. But this time to the author’s discredit, it was. I have a question for the author. In Slovakia there is prejudice against women drivers. If you were reporting on a three car accident, where two of the drivers were women, would you write “There was a three car accident on the highway outside Bratislava. Two of the drivers were women.”? I think not. Then why was it necessary to specify that the accused were Roma, other than for the purpose of perpetuating an ethnic stereotype? How is the ethnicity relevant for any other purpose?
Gregory, thanks for the comment. Firstly, yes, I would mention that two of the people in the accident were women, the same as I mentioned that a Nigerian man who killed his girlfriend in BA recently was Nigerian. There is no point pretending there are no differences between people, and you cant sweep certain social problems under the carpet either. By that I mean there are huge social issues to deal with concerning the Roma, and this story, whether you like it or not, points to some of the desperate things people will do because of those problems. I therefore see no problem citing the ethnicity of the culprits and believe it is justified in this case.