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Migration and Home Affairs
News announcement1 April 2022Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs3 min read

Call for participants ‒ RAN VoT - The perception of victims/survivors of terrorism in media, 23-24 May 2022, Vienna Austria

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This meeting will take place on 23 and 24 May in Vienna.

We are looking for participants that are interested to join the upcoming meeting of the RAN Working Group Victims/Survivors of Terrorism on ‘The perception of victims/survivors of terrorism by media’.

Background and aim of the meeting

In the aftermath of a terror attack, media reporting plays a crucial role. Journalists and media outlets seek to inform a broad audience on the attack, its impact and the potential perpetrator(s) and their motives. Media reporting is also crucial for supporting victims/survivors to make their stories and voices heard. Cooperation between media journalists and initiatives of victims/survivors can be important to increase their visibility and inform how societies deal with the consequences and roots of terrorism, violent extremism or hate crimes. However, media reports can also negatively impact victims and survivors. Victims/survivors are often portrayed as a vulnerable group that is to be pitied, which limits the room for diversity of their individual needs, concerns and self-perception. Biases in reporting can lead to double victimisation, stereotyping and discrimination of victims/survivors. Moreover, some cases of media reporting have undermined the desire of victims/survivors to stay anonymous and share their story on their own terms.

This meeting of the RAN VoT Working Group will invite participants to discuss key challenges and lessons learned on the perception of victims/survivors of terrorism in media, such as: (1) victims/survivors should get a voice in the media – if and in the way they want to. (2) Media should not only talk about them, but with them, while at the same time respecting their potential need for anonymity and taking into account the emotional toll an attack can take on the people directly affected by it. (3) Giving more agency to victims’/survivors’ voices can contribute to portraying them as resilient survivors. The meeting will also provide insights on promising approaches in collaboration between journalists and victims/survivors to help counter extremist narratives, radicalisation and hate crimes.

The meeting will focus on two main topics:

  • The role of media in the portrayal of victims/survivors, when it comes to (1) how they are presented; as vulnerable or as resilient? And (2) the extent to which the focus is on them instead of on the perpetrator(s);
  • The agency of victims/survivors when it comes to cooperation with media on countering extremist and hate narratives.

During the meeting, participants will share their perspectives, experiences and good practices from different Member States to help identifying lessons learned and potential (ethical) guidelines for the work of media and journalists with victims/survivors. The meeting will build on previous RAN meetings, such as the 2021 RAN VoT WG meeting on ‘Supporting the voices of young victims/survivors of terrorism’, and the 2020 RAN VoT and C&N WG meeting on ‘How to involve victims of terrorism in a prevention campaign’.

The outcomes of this meeting will be captured in a conclusion paper which will include ethical guidelines for journalists.

Target group

We are looking for the following types of participants:

  • Victims/survivors of terrorism;
  • Representatives of victim organisations;
  • Practitioners working to raise awareness on the agency of victims/survivors in P/CVE
  • Journalists and communication experts.

Deadline and practical information

If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please fill out the form by clicking here. Please answer the questions and submit all relevant information by 15 April at the latest.

We will invite participants based on this information. Please keep in mind that we only have a limited amount of places available for this meeting to foster exchanges, so participation is not guaranteed. Moreover, participants are required to attend both days of the meeting.

Travel and accommodation are arranged and covered by RAN and the meeting will be held in English. 

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact f [dot] cantersatradaradvies [dot] nl (Fenna Canters) and nico [dot] schernbeckatviolence-pervention-network [dot] de (Nico Schernbeck).



Publication date
1 April 2022
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs