Education

UL Lecturers help to broaden the discourse on minorities in the media

Dr Maria Rieder and Dr Florence Le Baron-Earle provided an in-depth discussion about the challenges that ethnic minorities face in the media.

The duo compared how differently the Irish media reports on isolated events based on the ethnicity of the people involved. The two examples used focused on the murders of Ashling Murphy and Urantsetseg Tserendoj respectively as well as the Berkeley and Carrickmines Fire tragedies.

The comparison highlighted that the Irish media mustered up a mere 31 articles about Mrs Tserendoj’s untimely death in January last year whilst over 330 pieces have been written about Ms Murphy’s death since last month.

Similarly, Dr Rieder and Dr Le Baron-Earle introduced an interactive exercise that compared headlines from Irish newspaper articles in relation to the Berkeley and Carrickmines tragedies. 

The participants had the opportunity to compare how each headline was structured and what the main talking points of the pieces were.

The duo rounded off their presentation by talking about the Tell Your Own Story project.

The project encourages people from diverse cultural backgrounds to ‘tell their own story’ in Irish media and to give readers and listeners glimpses into their cultures. The ultimate aim of Tell Your Own Story is to highlight what is shared across cultures and to promote empathy and inclusivity in the wider community.

The idea was initially presented by Dr Maria Rieder as a response to racist incidents that took place on the UL campus and Limerick city in 2020, when a number of Algerian PhD students arrived in Ireland at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project aims to counteract this with a regular, media-based intervention for stereotype and prejudice reduction in local news media. With the support of lecturers in Journalism, the project participants have over the summer been trained in interculturality, the Irish media landscape, writing for media, videoing and the creation of podcasts and radio shows. Since then, the group have met regularly to build the campaign, to identify outlets and to write. 

With the support of lecturers in Journalism at the University of Limerick, Narrative 4 and community radio station Wired FM, the project participants have been trained in interculturality, the Irish media landscape, writing for media, videoing and the creation of podcasts and radio shows.

If you want to find out more about the Tell Your Own Story project or join the crew, please email: tyosproject@gmail.com.

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