Research results of Promoting Human Rights in the Digital Era project to be presented in Prague

It seems obvious the same protection of human rights should apply equally in both the offline and online worlds. However, according to the majority of Czech journalists, there is no way this can be enforced in practice.

This is one of the findings of a new survey about how news media workers in the Czech Republic perceive the impact of new technologies on human rights. The full results will be published at the end of October. The research was carried out this summer by a consortium of organisations led by the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University as part of the international Promoting Human Rights in the Digital Era project, which is focused on technology, human rights and media. The project aims to increase awareness of the impact of technology on human rights not only within the journalistic and academic communities, but also among the public at large.

The survey was divided into three parts, with respondents answering questions about their work in the news media, how technology is used in their jobs, and also to what degree their work takes into account issues such as digital exclusion or the requirements of people with special needs.

“The research will tell us, for example, how the data collected about users influences the selection of articles. Respondents’ reactions to issues such as digital exclusion or the possibility of adapting form and content to people with special needs are interesting. But from the research, we are also learning how news media workers feel and how they see their future in today’s increasingly digitised world,” explains journalist and Charles University lecturer Václav Moravec, who designed and supervised the research.

The basis for the media workers’ survey was provided by preparatory research which mapped the experience of people who do not use certain digital technologies at all, as well as people with special needs who find that digital technologies are often helpful in their everyday life. These groups were interviewed during spring 2022.

Details of the findings will be presented to both media professionals and consumers on 24 October, 2022 at a one-day conference, Media and Human Rights in the Digital Age, to be held under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council at the Charles University Faculty of Social Sciences in Prague.

All presentations and discussions will be interpreted into Czech sign language throughout the day. The conference is intended especially for people with disabilities and current and future media professionals. Admission is free after registration here

The project Supporting Human Rights in the Digital Age (LP-HRMGSA-017) runs from January 2022 to January 2024 thanks to support from the Human Rights Program funded by Norwegian Funds 2014-2021.