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Media Against Racism in Sport (MARS)

A Council of Europe’s Media Network against Racism, for Mutual Understanding and Intercultural Dialogue

A European Union / Council of Europe Joint Programme

(January 2011 – December 2012)

Please find the MARS resources and further links here:


The media play a significant role in shaping public opinion through their influence on the agenda and the content of public debates. Racist and discriminatory attitudes are based on stereotypes and prejudices towards groups of the population, usually minorities. Media have an important role to play in the understanding by the public of the social, economic, and cultural dimensions of minority and diversity issues. Because the media are diverse both in terms of support and in terms of editorial lines, it is important to work with all types of media in order to reach the various segments of the public.


The MARS programme builds upon previous actions and recommendations made by Council of Europe bodies regarding media pluralism, diversity, fight against discrimination, and intercultural dialogue. The project focussed, though not exclusively, on sports media coverage. If sports are a major field of investment for media production and an important area for building social cohesion, they can also be a source of tensions between groups, communities, or even nations.


By working with all media actors and making them work together, MARS offered a way of exchanging and fostering intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding to counter stereotypes and reduce discriminatory and racist attitudes.


The MARS programme created a European media network against racism and for intercultural dialogue. It facilitated cooperation between mainstream media and community media, as well as ethnic minority media, stimulating media cross-practices in the field of training, content production, and editorial management with an inclusive and intercultural approach.


CMFE was responsible for organizing five National and one European Encounter and Media Work Exchanges on Cross Production in Vienna, Nicosia, Dublin, Berlin, Budapest, and Bordeaux.


Main partners

  • European Union

  • Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE)

  • International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

  • European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

  • Vienne Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC)

  • Football against Racism in Europe (FARE)

  • Media Animation: communication & education


Other partners

  • Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)

  • Observers: Lille University on Sport


Council of Europe

  • Intercultural Cities network

  • SPARDA Programme

  • Media and Information Society Division

  • Media and Information Society Division (EPAS)

  • European Commission on Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

For further information on the whole MARS programme, please visit the Council of Europe page.

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