Reporting on Central and Eastern Europe's LGBTQI+ Communities: More Opportunities, More Threats

Updated: Jan 18

Speakers: Tetiana Pechonchyk and Lisa Essex

Moderator: Milica Pesic (Moderator)


December 4th, 2020, 17:25-18:00 CET

This discussion was organized in cooperation with the European Journalism Centre.


Written by Lea Siebel


Key words: LGBTQ+ Rights, Minority Journalism, Human Rights Journalism


Short annotation, summary

Due to rising homophobia in Eastern and Central Europe, comprehensive, investigative journalism that is independent from the distorted lens of state-captured media is needed to better understand homophobia, give a voice to minorities and develop solutions. The session elaborated further on the worrying developments in Eastern and Central Europe and provided journalists with a toolbox on best practices, terminology, resources, and current issues.


The project or approach to be discussed in the session

Reporting on LGBTQ+ rights violations in Eastern and Central European countries. It was discussed how to best approach this type of reporting and what the challenges are.


Limitations, risks of the approach provided by the speaker

Risks are of course the possibility of being arrested or sanctioned for reporting on suppressed minority groups. Furthermore, a journalist may also be faced with an editor that does not want the journalist to report on LGBTQ+ rights violations or topics associated with it.


Takeaways

Events have ensured better speaker selection, diversity of race and gender, and a global reach.

1. Gay rights are human rights. Journalists should report on threats to and violation of gay rights.

2. Journalists should not wait for stories "to fall in their lap" or people to approach them. Rather, they should actively approach NGOs and other civil organisations to find stories of people who are not getting coverage

3. Having the right resources and tools as well as the appropriate terminology is crucial to better understand the issues that LGBTQ+ people face and also results in more unbiased, multi-layered reporting.