After the debate at European Parliament on 25 April 2018 organised by the Migration Media Award partners, under the auspices of MEPs Mercedes Bresso from Italy and Alfred Sant, former Prime Minister of Malta, the OPEN Media Hub asked a few of the participants to summarise their visions why a Migratiuon Media Award is essential.
The video includes interviews with the DG NEAR Head of Unit for Maghreb Jean-Christophe Filori, Jean Paul Marthoz, a Belgian Journalist and Julien Simon, Regional Coordinator for the Mediterranean for the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
Key takeaways from the discussion:
With fewer staff, diminishing funds, fiercely contested by the social media, distrusted by the demanding reader and pressed by politicians, reporting on migration has never been a more demanding job.
Once it has been mostly social and security topic, usually related to employment and criminality but generally a minor issue. Now migration became a matter for the European identity”, Belgian journalist Jean Paul Marthoz.
The work became harder but this “hardness” resulted in more attractive and stronger stories. It is not anymore enough for journalists to research and write a story. They have to disseminate to reach the audiences whenever they are. Using innovative formats to tell the stories, while exploring different varieties of the main migration narrative, could be the future of reporting on the phenomenon…You can have emotion from a good balanced story. Emotion and empathy do not oppose accuracy, fact-checking or describing the background”, OPEN Media Hub Team Leader Dominique Thierry.
Journalists need to report on physical people. Behind every person is a story than can create a positive attitude, reverse and rebalance the migration narrative”, Italian member of the European Parliament Mercedes Bresso.
By not saying who these people are, we are creating fears”, Slovenian MEP Tanja Fajon, adding …” migration is often the victim of fake news and is used in election campaigns”.
There is a lot more to do to achieve more balanced narrative on migration. The policymakers and the journalists have crucial role to play in presenting facts, so people are able to create an opinion on migration”, Jean-Christophe Filori of the European Commission points out, stressing “only through dialogue we can overcome polarisation and hate speech”.