Reframing Migration Narratives Toolkit

This toolkit targets progressive campaigners and activists/advocates wishing to better engage the middle sections of society in order to push back the mainstreaming of populist narratives and put diversity and inclusion back on the agenda. There is a broad realisation that the standard approaches of only arguing facts and rights is not serving the progressive agenda, and as more and more populists influence the migration debate in Europe, we need to try something different to rebalance the public discussion. The toolkit was developed under ICPA’s project, ‘Reframe the debate! New migration narratives for constructive dialogue’ (2017-2019) as part of the Demokratie Leben programme, supported by the Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and Social Change Initiative. Initial toolkit research and development work was kindly supported by Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE) and our reframing video by OSIFE and Robert Bosch Stiftung.
 
Europe in general is our main focus for these guidelines with a greater emphasis on Germany and UK as these are the countries in which we have most hands-on experience. However, we also draw on practice from the USA and at the global level, and as we see that the narrative challenges in the debate are often quite similar, we do hope the toolkit can offer some useful campaigning insights for many.

What policy communication works for migration?

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted migration and mobility around the globe, and by extension the way how we think and speak about migration. In this time of crisis, trust and public security have become primary concerns and spiralled the increasingly polarised rhetoric around migration we have seen emerging in recent years. This recent trend exacerbates the need for a balanced narrative on migration as a necessary pre-condition to safeguard an enabling environment for sound migration policy making and governance.

Promoting a deeper awareness and understanding of perceptions of and attitudes towards migration is imperative to move scientific evidence back to the core of the migration discourse, which in turn will help rebalance the narrative and consequently regain the public’s trust. This is particularly vital in the Euro-Mediterranean context, where migration can be considered part and parcel of the economic recovery if implemented in a conscientious and diligent way and on the basis of sound, effective migration policies. The third chapter of ICMPD’s “Impact of public attitudes to migration on the political environment in the Euro-Mediterranean region” makes a marked contribution to this critical matter by shedding light on different strategies and approaches to public communication on migration and how these can be rendered effective. Drafted before the outbreak of the current pandemic, the study’s recommendations ring even more true today where efforts to do away with the widespread disinformation, which was exacerbated by the pandemic, must be intensified.

Now more than ever, we need to provide policy-makers with evidence-based, responsive policy options to affront disinformation and ill-informed public perceptions of migration – a major challenge in the Euro-Mediterranean region and beyond.

Islam, Muslims and Journalism. Guidelines for Media

Language, the tool the journalist uses to describe the world around us, is also a factor when it comes to defining and constructing our imaginaries, the frameworks and settings within which we encase our immediate universe. Islam, Muslims and Journalism. Guidelines for Media seeks to provide data and recommendations so that journalists take into account the conceptual frameworks -which are loaded with negative stereotypes- within which we unconsciously constrict Islam and Muslims.

This guide has been produced by Fundación Al Fanar in collaboration with European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed)Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en Belgique (CCIB)Media Diversity Institute (MDI)NOOR FoundationEuropean Federation of Journalists (EFJ)Observatorio Español del Racismo y la Xenofobia (OBERAXE) and has been co-financed by IEMed within the framework of the Observatory of Islamophobia in the
Media project, and the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-
2020, as part of the Stop-islamophobia project.

How maps in the media make us more negative about migrants

It’s like one of those optical illusions: it looks like one face at first, but it’s actually two. Once you see the second face, you can never unsee it. 

In this case, the illusion is how we view migration – it’s the maps we see so frequently that visualise migration for us.

These maps are everywhere. in textbooks, on the news and in policy documents. Maps that show arrows pointing towards Europe, representing on their way to the EU. 

Those maps may look informative and factual, but are actually anything but neutral. In fact, they subconsciously strengthen the ugly underbelly of anti-migration sentiments in Europe.

Far more than we realise, the maps dictate the opinions and emotions that we form about migration. How is that possible? And above all, is there a better way to do it

We – professor of political geography Henk van Houtum, designer Leon de Korte and correspondent Maite Vermeulen – decided to take a stab at answering that question. In words, but first and foremost in images. Because once you see it, you can never unsee it.

Minority Sensitive Reporting Or New(s) Racism?

Minority Sensitive Reporting Or New(s) Racism?

Europe’s media often ignores, or reports negatively, issues faced by minority groups and indigenous people, such as Crimean Tatars and Roma, according to human rights groups.

The claim is backed by recent research into ethnic minority reporting in Poland and Slovakia.  Researchers found that Polish and Slovak media rarely publish stories about Roma populations in those countries.

Teun van Dijk, a media academic specialising in discourse analysis, has described  press coverage of minorities as ‘new(s) racism’.

CMFE trainings on multilingual broadcasting

Three training workshops are taking place in September and October in the framework of the EU-funded project New Neighbours. The CMFE workshops aim to empower more migrants and refugees, women in particular, to produce their own media contents on community media. Tools and techniques for multilingual broadcasting (using more than one language within the same program) will be a core element of the trainings, referring to materials developed by community radios and training institutions in the past fifteen years. CMFE is working with three local partners in Italy, Slovenia and Spain who wish to strengthen the role of intercultural broadcasting in their organisations. The workshops will focus on core competencies such as presentation and interviewing but also on workable methodologies for creating intercultural programming teams and motivating volunteers from migrant communities. The first training will take place at Radio Student in Ljubljana, Slovenia, one of the oldest community radio stations in Europe, with Birgitte Jallov, founder of Empowerhouse and CMFE President. The Catalan radio and TV station RTV Cardedeu near Barcelona, Spain, will host the second training with radio journalist Bianca Miglioretto, whereas the intercultural centre Fondazione Mondinsieme in Reggio Emilia, Italy, will close the circle with Refugee Radio Network founder Larry Macaulay. Due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, CMFE and its partners have devised a training format composed of online and on-site elements. Training participants and local mentors will work together at the chosen locations, while the international trainers will join via online sessions. We are also inviting the authors of the New Neighbours fact sheets on media and migration to present their research from the three countries and moderate a session on the topic of intercultural integration. Finally, a special focus on changing the narrative on refugees and women will come via a session with Auriane Itangishaka, anchor of VOA Africa Our Voices, a TV round table discussion program with a pan-African cast of four women.

Three training workshops are taking place in September and October in the framework of the EU-funded project New Neighbours. The CMFE workshops aim to empower more migrants and refugees, women in particular, to produce their own media contents on community media. Tools and techniques for multilingual broadcasting (using more than one language within the same program) will be a core element of the trainings, referring to materials developed by community radios and training institutions in the past fifteen years.

CMFE is working with three local partners in Italy, Slovenia and Spain who wish to strengthen the role of intercultural broadcasting in their organisations. The workshops will focus on core competencies such as presentation and interviewing but also on workable methodologies for creating intercultural programming teams and motivating volunteers from migrant communities. 

The first training will take place at Radio Student in Ljubljana, Slovenia, one of the oldest community radio stations in Europe, with Birgitte Jallov, founder of Empowerhouse and CMFE President. The Catalan radio and TV station RTV Cardedeu near Barcelona, Spain, will host the second training with radio journalist Bianca Miglioretto, whereas the intercultural centre Fondazione Mondinsieme in Reggio Emilia, Italy, will close the circle with Refugee Radio Network founder Larry Macaulay. Due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, CMFE and its partners have devised a training format composed of online and on-site elements. Training participants and local mentors will work together at the chosen locations, while the international trainers will join via online sessions.

We are also inviting the authors of the New Neighbours fact sheets on media and migration to present their research from the three countries and moderate a session on the topic of intercultural integration.

Finally, a special focus on changing the narrative on refugees and women will come via a session with Auriane Itangishaka, anchor of VOA Africa Our Voices, a TV round table discussion program with a pan-African cast of four women.