How Often Do Vulnerable Groups Address the Media to Share Personal Or Community Issues?

Only 10% of the respondents affirm they have addressed media outlets at least once to share the information about the problems faced by them or the community they represent. This fact implies that “approximately 90% of them have one-way relations with the sources of information, that is, they merely receive the information,” according to the research published by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC).

In the context of citizens’ trust in information sources, the authors of the research also suggest examining the aspect of media coverage of the problems they face personally or as part of the community they belong to.

7.4% of urban women and 4.2% of the Romani provide a positive response to the question, “Have you ever had an experience of requesting to cover (i. e. to inform the public via mass media) a problem faced by you or the community you are a part of?” 3.6% of persons with disabilities and 3.2% of refugees have addressed the press in relation to such issues. Most young people have never addressed any media outlet representatives for assistance.

As to raising public awareness by means of letters or emails addressed to the media, according to the study, young urban people (5.2%), rural women (4.3%), persons with disabilities (3.6%), and elderly people(3.6%) are more active in this regard, whereas young people from rural areas (0.9%) and the Romani (1%) are more reluctant to use this method.

The third way to publicize the problems people face is addressing media outlets directly. 3.2% of urban women, 3.1% of urban young people, and 2.1% of the Romani have addressed them at least once. None of the disabled persons interviewed during the survey have called a media outlet to inform them of their problems.

To conclude, according to the authors, urban women are more likely to offer information regarding their own or community problems to the media, whereas urban young people and refugees are the most reluctant in this regard. Overall, the vast majority of the respondents have never communicated with the media regarding the issues they face personally or as part of their community. “Only about 10% of the respondents have had at least one experience of the two-way communication with the media, whereas 90% see their communication with the sources of information as merely obtaining information,” the study reveals.

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