The Council of Europe publication entitled “Spaces of Inclusion – An explorative study on needs of refugees and migrants in the domain of media communication and on responses by community media” has been prepared by experts of the COMMIT Community Media Institute in Austria.
The role played by media in framing the public debate on migration, with often divisive narratives that focus on the threats that refugees and migrants can pose to the security, welfare and cultures of European societies, has attracted much attention in political and academic circles. Ongoing efforts to properly equip and prepare journalists for the challenging task of contextualised and evidence-based reporting on this complex topic are essential. It is equally vital, however, to ensure that sufficient opportunities are provided to migrants and refugees themselves to develop their independent voices and make them heard in public debate.
Based on individual interviews, the qualitative study explores the media habits and particular needs of refugees and migrants in the domain of media communication. Good practice examples show how community media can meet these needs by offering training and spaces for self-representation, and by offering points of entry into local networks. Community media and their bottom-up approach to content production also contribute to a multilingual media environment that reflects the diversity of European societies and includes marginalised communities as respected part of audiences.