The monitoring data has been collected both for scientific and pragmatic reasons. The “Journalists for Tolerance” initiative members believe that the culture of creating ethic journalistic materials and the journalists’ feeling of social responsibility have significant development potential. And it is important to realize how this potential can be applied.
Various educational seminars and workshops on Ethic Journalism are regularly arranged in Belarus. The corresponding trainers require factual information on the most wide-spread manifestations of hate speech in Belarusian mass media to include them as illustrative cases in their presentations. Also, the trainers need to know for whom they should conduct such workshops, in order to have a noticeable effect in the national media field. Should the target group include journalists from the regions or the capital city, the employees of the state or independent mass media? Is it really important to work with journalists or do journalists only quote incorrect statements of their characters, being independent and unbiased themselves? Thus, the monitoring provides Ethical Journalism trainers and scholars with valuable information for their work.
Their publication helps to draw journalists’ attention to the topic of hate speech. The topic used to be marginal till the recent past. And it used to be discussed from the legal perspective, i.e. what publications can lead to suits against authors of arguable journalistic materials. The monitoring team made an attempt to shift the focus from the legal aspects to the ethic ones.
Any professional journalist possesses a bunch of refined and incredibly powerful communication tools. On the one hand, they can foster the increase of social tensions. On the other hand, they can contribute to resolving conflict situations.
The monitoring team decided to draw the media workers’ attention to this power and help them use it in smart and responsible ways.
Finally, the monitoring and its presentation are aimed at making the research visible for prospective monitors, who would like to join the team.