IBC "Social Impact Award" goes to SWI Swissinfo.ch

SWI Swissinfo.ch has won the Social Impact Award from the International Broadcasting Convention IBC for its data-driven promotion of inclusive language in a ten-language digital newsroom.

Presenter Nadira Tudor (right) hands over the IBC Award to Jo Fahy (left), Head of Distribution and Formats. (Image: IBC)

Since 2022, the ten-language international SRG SSR service SWI Swissinfo.ch has consistently dispensed with the use of the generic masculine.

The use of inclusive language is evaluated periodically; all published texts and photos are also evaluated with the aim of achieving gender balance. SWI Swissinfo.ch is guided by the BBC's "50:50 Equality Project," which was launched in 2017.

For this commitment, the International Broadcasting Convention IBC has now presented SWI Swissinfo.ch with the Social Impact Award in the Diversity and Inclusion category.

The handover took place on Sunday in Amsterdam, during the 56th edition of the media, entertainment and technology industry trade show.

"Reporting on Switzerland is not feasible at all without diversity".

"This one is a recognition of the years of hard work we've put into this project," says Jo Fahy, Head of Multimedia at SWI Swissinfo.ch. "It's a project that has demanded quite a bit of change from our multilingual and multicultural teams."

Director Larissa M. Bieler sees the use and promotion of inclusive language as a task for all media, with media with public sponsorship playing a key role: "As an international media house, we share responsibility for how the media take diversity into account in their language or not. Our job is to report on society as a whole, and in the case of Switzerland, this is not even feasible without diversity."

Counteracting underrepresentation

The idea behind this is that diversity in media content and in language has an impact on society, on patterns of thought and behavior. Inclusive language therefore means more than just "gendering.

Without an awareness of inclusion, population groups are made invisible, underrepresented, or distorted. The consequences can be stereotyping, racism, and discrimination.

Globally, women are still heavily underrepresented in media contributions. The gender ratio of men to women is 80 to 20 percent. For Switzerland, an average representation of women of 23 percent was measured (Fög/IKMZ, 2021), with the ratio varying by topic and media title. (pd/swi)

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