EU Journo Guidelines: Do Not Interview ‘Extremists’ or Mention Ethnicity When Reporting Migrant Crime

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The European Union funded project “Respect Words” has released guidelines for journalists telling them not to talk to “extremists” about illegal mass migration, not to mention the ethnicity of migrant criminals if possible, and to actively counter “hate propaganda”.

The 39-page style guide was designed by the “Respect Words” project who say on their website that their motto is “Ethical Journalism against Hate Speech.” It contains several sections with recommendations on how journalists should cover certain topics from migration and migrants to Islam and Islamisation making sure to reinforce “politically correct” terminology.

While the guide claims in the glossary of terms section that “hate speech” has no “universally accepted definition”, the guide tells journalists and writers not to reproduce “hate speech” and when they feel they have to write about such speech for the sake of news they should “mediate it by contextualising and challenging such speech”.

While many of the sections regarding Muslims, migrants, and others call for more representation from members of those groups, the guide says that “extremists” should be totally ignored. “Be alert to political and social actors who spread hate to promote their interests,” it reads.

When reporting crimes, the guide also states that ethnic or religious background should generally not be mentioned unless the story requires it.

Regarding the migrant crisis, which erupted in 2015, the guide complains that not enough journalists are putting out feel-good stories regarding migrants’ “positive contributions to society”.

The authors also note that journalists report too much on the subject of migrant crime, despite statistics from Austria showing migrant sex attacks increasing by 133 per cent, and various reports from different areas in Germany showing a drastic increase in migrant crime rates.

In Berlin alone, authorities estimated that up to 50 per cent of suspects of reported crimes in the city were committed by individuals who did not hold a German passport.

The guide also objects to the term “illegal immigrant” saying that journalists should use a term like “the process of entering a country without authorization”.

On Muslims and Islam, the guide states that journalists are not covering the “diversity” within the Muslim community and call on them to challenge the notion that radical Islamic terrorists are acting in the name of their religion.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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