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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 one another feeds off the impressions of one another to which we are exposed. CIVIS focuses on radio and TV, social media and cinema. These are all places where very different, often contradictory views on migration, integration and cultural diversity are aired. The way in which the media addresses these issues has a significant effect on how peacefully people with different origins and cultural backgrounds can live together in the immigrant society in Europe. Whether information or disinformation controls the media discourse, whether enlightenment or propaganda form the basis of reporting, whether smart categorisations or distortions characterise the news: all of this has far-reaching consequences for the development of humanity and civility. It is a fundamental factor in determining whether racism, antisemitism, extremism, group-focused enmity, hate or smear campaigns can 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