Media in many countries on both sides of the Mediterranean face major challenges when it comes to telling the migration story in context. This is the key finding of the ongoing study “How do media on both sides of the Mediterranean report on migration?” whose preliminary results will be presented in a multi-stakeholder event today in Brussels.
EUROMED Migration IV, funded by the Directorate General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the EU, commissioned the Ethical Journalism Network to conduct this study for which writers from 17 countries are examining the quality of migration media coverage in 2015/16 from a national perspective. The study covers 9 EU countries and 8 countries in the south of the Mediterranean: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Spain, Sweden on one hand and Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia on the other hand.
The work in progress finds that journalists are often uninformed about the complex nature of the migration narrative; newsrooms are vulnerable to pressure and manipulation by voices of hate, whether from political elites or social networks. At the same time, the authors identify highlights and inspirational examples of journalism at its best –resourceful, painstaking, and marked by careful, sensitive and humanitarian reporting. A set of draft recommendations, including a call for training, the funding of media action and other activities to support and foster more balanced and evidence-based journalism on migration, are also part of the study.
One such activity is the EU-funded Migration Media Award for which several partners have come together on the initiative of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development ICMPD; it will be announced today under the auspices of Malta’s EU presidency. The award competition is a collaboration of the EU-funded projects EUROMED Migration IV and the Open Media Hub, in partnership with the European Asylum Support Office and Malta’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs.