According to the Press Council, 20 Minutes discriminated against dark-skinned people with a photo

The Press Council criticizes 20 Minutes' selection of images for racial discrimination.


Is it permissible to publish a photo of a dark-skinned person holding an Italian identity card to illustrate an article entitled "Il obtient deux permis de séjour avec de faux papiers" ("He obtains two residence permits with false documents") when the text states that the perpetrator is Kosovar?

Not without violating the provisions of the "Declaration of the Duties and Rights of Journalists" regarding racial discrimination, according to the Press Council. It states this in its latest decision.

A reader who only read the title above this picture in the French commuter newspaper 20 minutes would conclude that an African had cheated. This reinforces the prejudices that a section of the Swiss public has against people of black African origin, according to which they are perceived as profiteers in the asylum sector, according to the reasons for the ruling. The Press Council has therefore lodged a complaint against 20 minutes approved in the main.

20 minutes had argued that the photo with this title was unproblematic, as users would undoubtedly not infer anything from it. Or at most that it was the hand of a representative of the authorities and not the perpetrator.

"An adventurous interpretation that does not stand up to analysis", the Press Council countered. Furthermore, the photo did not contain any other relevant information that would have reduced the risk of racial discrimination. It therefore ruled that the photo violated professional ethics.

Furthermore, the Press Council rejected the complaint: The article did not contain any factual errors and did not ignore any important facts. The photo was also not altered. The duty to tell the truth was not violated. (pd/hae)

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