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About us

The CIVIS Foundation

Europe – with Germany at its heart – is the origin and refuge of numerous cultures and traditions that must coexist alongside one another in a small space. People come here to search for a home, either temporarily or permanently. However, integration has long since ceased to mean the meeting of natives with those who want to become natives. It is more to do with a diversity of social spheres and orientations which vary starkly among people with different backgrounds. It is about their peaceful coexistence. The non-profit CIVIS Media Foundation has been working to get this task taken seriously in electronic media for more than three decades.

Integration needs the media. The way we see each other is shaped in the long term by the image we have of each other. Radio, television, social media, newspapers, magazines: they are all venues for very different, often conflicting views on migration, integration and cultural diversity. The way in which the media address these issues has a significant impact on the extent to which people of different origins and backgrounds can live together peacefully in the European immigration society. Whether information or disinformation determines the media discourse, whether enlightenment or propaganda is the basis of reporting, whether clever categorization or distortion make up contributions: All of this has far-reaching consequences for the development of humanity and civility. It is crucial in determining whether racism, anti-Semitism, antiziganism, extremism, group-focused misanthropy, hatred and hate speech continue to spread or whether they can be suppressed.

This is the backdrop against which the CIVIS Media Foundation operates. The European CIVIS Media Prize for Integration and Cultural Diversity is at the heart of its work. It has been awarded every year since 1988 and honours outstanding programme achievements in TV, radio, the internet and cinema. CIVIS has also been hosting annual media conferences since 1999. In “quoted. der medienpodcast”­ – in cooperation with the Süddeutsche Zeitung – and the Instagram format “medientalk live” – in cooperation with WDR COSMO – CIVIS accompanies media debates around the immigration society. The CIVIS Media Foundation provides support for networking among journalists and programme developers who deal with a wide range of issues relating to the immigrant community in Europe. In this way, CIVIS brings people and institutions, persons with political responsibility and media professionals, intermediaries and their audience together in debate.

The CIVIS Media Foundation aims to act as a stimulus for media reporting on the issues of migration, integration, cultural diversity and the associated societal cohesion as well as democracy in a creative, constructive and – where necessary – (self-)critical way. CIVIS supports reporting which highlights successes and does not conceal failures.

CIVIS - 30 years of the Media Prize