Pascale Colisson, Diversity Manager at the Institute Pratique du Journalisme (IPJ) spoke today about how her
Pascale Colisson, Postgraduate Studies & Diversity Manager, IPJ .
journalism school, which harnesses the French Diversity Label, teaches students to be culturally aware.
She described how she starts off with a module about stereotypes including where they come from and how they compare to reality. She said it’s important to be aware of prejudice: “It’s normal to have stereotypes, everyone has them, including myself.”
She also includes exercises in which students have to change around an article written about a female politician with the same content but with the opposite gender. “It sounds completely different when a male politician talks about juggling family and work.”
Other tasks include checklists where students have to decide what is written about a female politician and if that is relevant to the article; so for example, if a female politician’s dress or make-up is mentioned in an article about a politician.
The school actively promotes cultural inclusiveness but this doesn’t mean that all students are tolerant. She described how a girl was called a “dirty arab” by her classmates and how this had to be discussed.
Even though she thinks the stereotype that young people are more tolerant is not true, she says a lot of things have become better too: young women don’t laugh at sexist jokes anymore to conform to the group dynamic and speak up more often.