Media for Diversity and Migrant Integration

Points of Views from Trade Unions and Schools of Journalism

TitlePoints of Views from Trade Unions and Schools of Journalism
Publication TypeJournal Article
Original TitleDu cote des syndicates et des ecoles de journalisme
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsCharon, J. - M.
Journal TitleMediamorphoses
Pagination52 – 57
Place PublishedBry sur Marne
Type of WorkArticle
1) Abstract

Within a context of high visibility of the issues of diversity in the media, this article asks questions which have not always been highlighted, and takes the point of view of schools of journalism, with the issue of diversifying their intake, and of trade unions, with the issue of acknowledging the diversity of French society in news items.

2.1) Publication LanguageFrench
2.2) Type & Structure

Journal article
Schools confronted to the challenge of diversification of intake
Apprenticeship cursus of IPJ
Goodwill and vigilance of journalists trade unions
Omar, Rachid, Christine or Morad: their questions.

3.1) Main Issues

This article approaches the subject of diversity from the point of view of two of the actors rarely heard in the debate:; schools and trade-unions.
Schools of journalism are faced with a problem of intake: the number of candidates is such that they end up raising the bar for admission, thus prioritising previous third level qualifications; the same is observed in Institutes of Technology with a journalism section. There is thus a real and marked under-representation of visible minorities in schools of journalism; since the 1990s, some initiatives have attemted to alter this situation: the CIJ (training centre for journalists) has included different strands in the competitive exam: general politics, arts, economy, with a view to attracting graduates from these areas, even though the results have been disappointing. Other initiatives included the training of foreign journalists, mainly from French-speaking African countries, and a section open to candidates up to 35 years old. Moreover, several schools have engaged in “alternated” training, where school attendance is mixed with internships for 2 years. However, some reluctance has been found from media companies in including candidates slightly “different”. The IPJ has also introduced an apprenticeship section, in partnership with public radio and television stations. There, basic modules are taken in school, but most of the training is done in-house, under the guidance of a mentor. Recruitment is done in two stages: approval from the school, in terms of education level and social markers, the partner company then validates the choices, with their own criteria (in the first two years, this saw a priority given to visible minorities).
Trade unions did not adopt the concept of visible minority, as they are closer to the concept of social and cultural diversity in recruitment. . The SNJ has for a long time approved of “contracts for qualification” which opened the profession to young people issued from disadvantaged social classes. They also point out the scepticism and resistance that these sections encountered amongst media professionals and editorial offices, even though the young people were also training in recognised schools of journalism. The unions point out the school system as a whole operates a “social class selection”, long before the entrance into schools of journalism. They also point out that another issue is the cost of studies, and the lack of permanent jobs thereafter; it would be worse to reserve a few places in schools for “good conscience”. Trade unions do not approve of quotas or positive discrimination, and colloquia or reports from the High Council of Integration do not receive much coverage amongst trade unionism. Trade unionist only react to specific actions from the media companies.
“Trade unions show goodwill, watch attentively modalities put in place, demand follow-up and awareness, but are also on the whole doubtful of the in-depth engagement of media companies in the long term” (p.54)

As for media professionals issued from diversity, they all agree on
“they all agree on the fact that the priority is to report better on the diversity and plurality of French society. There needs to be better visibility of groups, values, preoccupations, actions which are forever denied, kept silent, set aside, whereas stereotypes, habits, even caricatures result in containing entire parts of French society to crime reports, failure, crisis and violence.” (p.55)
Even though those journalists issued from diversity sometimes face the same problems when confronted to subjects from disadvantaged areas, where they are seen as belonging to the side of power, they do however acknowledge their role as role models to young people, and symbols of diversity.

4.1) Relevance

This articles is about schools, training and trade-unions, which are not always part of reports or very vocal in the debate for diversity.

Keywordscollective bargaining, France, pre-employment education, social dialogue, social partners, trade unions
Tagsprofessional associations, trade unions