European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Section 3 - TV

Example 1 Austria, “ORF Goes to School”
Example 2 Bulgaria, Trakia TV “Neighbourhood” programme
Example 3 Italy, RAI Telegiornale 2 (TG2) “Nonsolonero” programme
Example 4 Poland, Polish TV programme “At Home”

Example 1 Austria, “ORF Goes to School” 

The multicultural department of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF has initiated an educational media project called "ORF goes to School" aimed at confronting children and young people with the complexity of relationships between migrants and locals in a vivid and powerful way.

For 10 weeks, students have produced short films on the issue “living together, minorities with the majority” under the direction of media professionals. Every production step - from screenplay to realisation and promotion - was conceived by the students themselves. Experts supported the production by educating the students about "xenophobia, tolerance and acceptance" and "dealing with the media". The films were presented to the public at a festive occasion organised by their school. A TV special on the development and the result of this 10-week work with the students was produced and shown within the framework of the ORF multicultural programme "Heimat, fremde Heimat" " (Home - Foreigners’ Home).

Project producer Roman A. Tolic, a young journalist from the ORF multicultural department, claims that "ORF goes to School" shows a new approach to the role of television. And it proves to be successful: 3Sat broadcast the "ORF goes to School" TV special in 1997 on the "Unicef - International Children's Day of Broadcasting". It was ranked among the ten best productions out of 2000 world-wide entries at the "International Emmy Awards Gala 1997" for the "Unicef - Emmy Award" in New York.

The ORF Multicultural Production created, in co-operation with Austrian Association of Journalists, a platform “Journalists against racism” to give advice to media professionals on how to handle racism. In 1998, the many activities organised by the production team included a “Friendship versus xenophobia” symposium for the International Year for Human Rights, together with the Austrian Human Rights League and the Office for Peace and Development ; a “Minorities and Human Rights” congress organised together with the Austrian Human Rights League and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights; and “Power and Responsibility of the Media”, with the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia in Vienna.

For more information:

Roman Tolic
Minderheitenredaktion des ORF
Würzburggasse 30
A - 1136 Wien
Tel: +
Fax: +
E-mail: and

Example 2 Bulgaria, Trakia TV “Neighbourhood” programme 

“Neighbourhood” is the first TV programme and unique attempt in Bulgaria to address both multiethnic needs and the question of peace in the Balkans. It was broadcast by Plovdiv Public Television Trakia, during the period 1997-1999.

This 20-minute regional programme was soon so popular that other cable television companies decided to broadcast it as well, thus reaching the most remote villages in the country. People living far away from Plovdiv considered “Neighbourhood” as a national movement for ethnic tolerance. The programme encouraged the people from city outskirts to speak out and to show their way of life, customs, strong beliefs and history, to overcome the differences between minorities for a better understanding among communities.

Behind this project was the team of the journalists’ association “Media with Human Face”, directed by Petko Shojlekov. Evgenij Todorov and Mariana Velikova conceived this original programme, which was produced by a multiethnic team of cameramen and journalists representing the Balkans’ minorities. At present, they are waiting for new sponsors to continue their inspiring work.

This program was made possible thanks to the support of the Open Society Foundation (Sofia), King Baudoin Foundation (Belgium) and numerous local NGO engaged in inter-ethnic relations in the region: “Hayr” Foundation; “Shalom” Local Jews Organisation, Armenian Charity Organisation “Vachan”, Roma Foundation, “Videlina” Association, “Journalists for Tolerance” Foundation, “Help the Indigent” Foundation, “Union” Cultural & Educational Organisation.

For more information:

45, Radetzki Str.
BG - 4000 Plovdiv
Tel: +359 32/ 640 419, 44 71 16 ext. 21
Fax: +359 32/ 640 394

Example 3 Italy, RAI Telegiornale 2 (TG2) “Nonsolonero” programme 

Created in November 1988, the “Nonsolonero” programme was the first one in Italy to be entirely devoted to immigration, multiculturalism and racism, and the first one to be presented by a black female journalist: Maria De Lourdes Jesus. At that time, Italy was experiencing its first racist incidents against immigrants, which led to the first immigration laws.

From 1988 until 1994, the 18-minute weekly programme was broadcast first on Saturday and then on Sunday at 13:00 hours after the news. It provided in-depth immigration reports and quality interviews with representatives from minority groups in a constant effort to fight stereotypes and make public opinion more sensitive to multicultural issues.

It was for years the most popular programme with an average share of the audience of 35%. “Nonsolonero” was particularly watched by immigrants who welcomed the opportunity to see their interests reflected in the media. The series is now filed in the immigration archives and available to the general public and to schools.

Invited as one of the guest speakers, at the “European Media Conference: Cultural Diversity - Against Racism” (May 1999) organised by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (Vienna), Maria De Lourdes Jesus evaluated the impact of this kind of programme in the following terms: “There are a number of examples in Italian television as well as radio and the press of how immigration has been handled in a dignified manner, yet these are isolated cases which are not representative of the overall picture and do not reflect the way this sensitive issue is covered. … I believe that in the societies now developing in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. Television, which is received in every household and reaches the entire population (especially since the introduction of satellite dishes and the internet) plays a crucial role in our continuously changing world because it conveys images and as such presents life models.”

For more information:

Tel: +39.06.331.73.005
Fax: +39.06.331.71.159


Example 4 Poland, Polish TV programme “At Home” 

Since the end of the 1980s, producers Waldemar Janda and Krzysztof Krzyzanowski from the Polish Television in Kracow, have sought a forum for representation of minority cultures, breaking down negative stereotypes, avoiding ancient animosities and building a sense of independent identities comprising the multicultural character of contemporary Polish society.

This was the beginning of the “At home” (U siebie ) series regularly broadcast by Polish Television for the past seven years. The name of the series points to the fact that minority groups in Poland or in any nation state are at home, at their own place, and this should not be disputed or questioned.

K. Krzyzanowski and W. Janda further initiated the First International Ethnic TV Festival U siebie – At home. In October 1999, the festival took place for the third time in Kracow. The event itself was preceded by a selection of more than 90 documentary films, reportages and programmes, sent from 27 countries world-wide. The fourth festival will take place in Kracow between 25 and 30 September 2000.

For more information:

Telewizja Polska S.A.
Oddzial w Krakowie
Krzemionki 30
PL - 30-955 Krakow
Tel: +48.12.423.67.36
Fax: +48.12.423.65.12 and

Other examples of interest:

· Belgium, VRT broadcast a famous US documentary “De rollen omgekeerd” showing the psychological process to understand discrimination through the arbitrary “blue eyes” concept

· Denmark, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation has established a new strategy for the DR News service concerning minorities for a better portrayal of Danish multicultural society

· Denmark, Koncern, “The Ghetto Princess”, a thought-provoking documentary on how Danish and Turkish children experience cultural differences, was broadcast for both children and adult audiences.

· Finland, Yle TV1, Multicultural programme Bazaar

· France, FR3, The weekly programme Saga-cités explores city and suburban life with a special focus on minorities

· France, FR2, a news report “le racisme à l’entrée des boîtes de nuits”, explained the daily work of the association SOS Racisme

· Germany, ZDF, Muticultural approach aimed at children

· Italy, Rai Educational, “Lessons of racism”, a series of 10 programmes broadcast three times about different forms of daily racism and “A world in colour”, a daily programme during two terms about immigration and multicultural society

· Netherlands, Kleurnet, new TV channel by and for minorities

· United Kingdom, BBC, Equal Opportunity Department which aims to promote and defend minority interest within the BBC

· United Kingdom, BBC2, documentary “Racism in Scotland”, including interviews with foreigners and second-generation minorities

· Spain, RTV Valencia, “Solidaris”, a weekly magazine about multicultural topics and aid to third world countries