Refugees in the Media: Best Practices of Rights Based Approach to Journalism .

The panel, organised by the Hrant Dink Foundation in Istanbul, will be held today , July 1st at 18.30.

Journalists and media experts from Turkey and Europe will convey the dimensions of discrimination and hate speech towards refugees in the media and their experiences of struggle.

The panel will begin with an opening presentation of the Hrant Dink Foundation‘s works on media monitoring of hate speech and discriminatory discourse on Syrian refugees. Mike Jempson, founder and director of The MediaWise Trust, who works in the field of journalistic ethics will address the work of promoting fair and accurate representation of refugees in the media as well as encouraging the interaction of refugee communities with the media. Nadia Bellardi, project manager of Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE), will speak about promotion of refugees participation and combatting discrimination through media. Ekin Karaca, co-editor of bianet, will address the importance of a rights-based approach to journalism in order to combat discrimination against refugees. The panel will be moderated by Metin Çorabatır, president of the Research Center on Asylum and Migration (IGAM).

Here more information. The event will be broadcasted live on Facebook

#WorldRefugeeDay: How Can We Counter Hateful Narratives?


On the occasion of World Refugee Day, we are pleased to share this contribution from our partner Media Diversity Institute.

It is #WorldRefugeeDay. But while the world celebrates refugees’ contributions, it is important to remember that many countries are being more unkind than ever towards refugees, making life even harder than it already is. At MDI, we have a few tips for how to counter those narratives as a media consumer, producer or civil society activist working with the media.

20 June 2019, World Refugee Day

In 2001 the United Nations constituted The World Refugee day , an observance dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

Starting from this date, every year on  June 20,  organizations and offices of the United Nations system, and most importantly, governments, civil society, the public and private sectors, schools, universities and, more generally, citizens are invited to participate with initiatives and demonstrations of solidarity and adhesion.

This year,  with the initiative  #StepWithRefugees — Take A Step on World Refugee Day , UNHCR literally invites us to put ourselves in the shoes of those who are forced to walk for miles and miles to reach a safe place.

“Together, we are challenging ourselves to cover two billion kilometers in 12 months, just as refugees worldwide do each year to reach the nearest point of safety” we read on the UNHCR site. 

For anyone who wants to take part in this solidarity challenge, a fit app is made available. Through this tool  the kilometers traveled by each walking, jogging or cycling are added to a global counter.

The symbolic goal is to reach the 2 billion  of kilometers amount, which is the distance that refugees around the world have traveled this year. This campaign is reinforced by the testimonies of those who managed to save themselves only following the act of extreme resilience which is walking for very long distances in the most adverse conditions.

The main aim is to build better  and deeper understanding of refugees real condition.

We, as  New Neighbours,  join this wish, with the  purpose to contribute  moving forward with the project .

Are journalists responsible for the negative view of migration?

 Did European media overstate the importance of migration? Do journalists have a negative view of migration? Are journalists responsible for the negative view of migration? Do the media sensationalize that issues in order to sell papers? These  and other questions emerged during the event on fake news, disinformation, and media narratives on migration in the context of the European Parliament elections, held in Brussels by the think tank Friends Of Europe, as a part of its Migration Action programme. 

The over 200 participants (including journalists from across the EU, researchers from the University of Oxford, the Budapest Business School, and the European Journalism Centre)  painted a complex and nuanced picture of the actual European media system.

Several problems were discussed: the new business models of publishing, the online visualization system, the political affiliation of the media, the sensationalist form of the articles .

Here the full article.

How is Germany’s migration policy perceived abroad?

Germany has received international attention when it comes to migration ever since the country’s acceptance of over one million asylum-seekers in 2015. At the eve of the European Elections, while Right-wing populist and nationalist parties were expected  to gain ground, MEDIENDIENST INTEGRATION asked: What significance does Germany’s migration policy have within other countries in Europe and how is it reported on and perceived by the public? Adéla Jurečková  (Director of the Migration Awareness Program, People in Need Czech Republic), Dr. Myria Georgiou  (Professor of Media and Communications, London School of Economics ) and Dr. Bernd Parusel  (Expert for the Swedish National Contact Point of the European Migration Network (EMN) at the Swedish Migration Agency)  tried to answer  telling what is happening in Czech Republic, Greece, United Kingdom  and Sweden.

Unsurprisingly  Germany’s migration policy’s narration  seems to be shaped on local dominant politics discourse. In Czech Republic for example, a large part of the press select and stress German news on terrorism and crimes committed by migrants to create a sort of warning about what happens to those countries that have more permissive migration policies. In  Greece, public opinion seems to be interested above all in the bond that these policies have with the migrants waiting in the Hellenic territory.

You can find the full article here.

NEW NEIGHBOURS – a new project promoting intercultural media spaces

Migration policy is one of the hottest topics on the political agenda of the upcoming European elections on May 23-26, when up to 400 million EU citizens will select their representatives in the European Parliament for the next 5 years. In a climate of increasing populism and disinformation, the New Neighbours website, launched today, aims to provide factual information and real stories on daily life in an intercultural European Union.

According to a recent Eurobarometer survey on integration of immigrants in the European Union, attitudes towards migration differ greatly amongst EU citizens, depending on their nationality, age, level of education and urbanisation, amongst other factors. Overall, respondents tend to overestimate the number of non-EU immigrants: in 19 out of the 28 Member States, people believe that the number of immigrants in their country is twice to three times as high than the real figures.

So how do citizens form their opinions, what sources of information shape local and national discourse? While 39% of Europeans believe that the media representation of immigrants is objective, 36% say it is too negative and 13% don’t know what to think. So, there is huge space for improvement! New Neighbours is collecting good practice and success stories on how to provide factual information on migration, as well as promoting direct participation of migrants and refugees in media production. The website will grow during the life of the project, reinforcing networks and showcasing media outputs produced.

New Neighbours is the most recent piece in a puzzle of European projects and efforts carried out by leading international and national media and civil society organisations to promote responsible journalism and respectful dialogue amongst all members of society. Led by the European Broadcasting Union, the 24-month project runs until the end of 2020 and is producing the third edition of the documentary film series New Neighbours, involving 9 European Public Service Broadcasters from Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. The films explore real stories of new encounters between ‘locals’ and ‘newly arrived’ citizens, showing the complexities and richness of intercultural integration processes. In the development of the new series, expected to launch in the autumn of this year, the broadcasters are cooperating with local civil society and community media organisations in order to explore creative angles and ideas.

Alongside the PSM film productions, which build the heart of the New Neighbours project, a series of complementary productions, trainings and research activities are taking place, under the responsibility of the project partners CMFE, COMMIT, COSPE and MDI.

MDI – Media Diversity Institute, with 20+ years of experience in helping to improve reporting on race, ethnicity, religion, human rights and other diversity issues, is training civil society organisations to run their own campaigns and to effectively communicate with journalists to spread constructive stories about migrants and refugees. Through five national Media Skills Trainings for CSOs in Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Germany, civil society activists will have the chance to combine media advocacy with campaigns involving migrants and refugees as well as locals.

CMFE – Community Media Forum Europe, the umbrella organisation representing networks, national federations and projects of the non-profit media sector, is working with experienced migrant community radio and TV producers to train new volunteer media makers in intercultural and multilingual productions. Based on the experiences collected in the Spaces of Inclusion report, exchanges and co-operations between editorial groups in Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Slovenia will take place throughout the project.

COSPE Onlus, a leading Italian NGO promoting fair and sustainable development, global citizenship, intercultural dialogue and human rights, has developed the project website and is coordinating a series of national discussion meetings to challenge racism and discrimination against migrants, minorities, refugees and asylum seekers. COSPE will also organise the final project conference in the autumn of 2020.

COMMIT, leveraging its experience in training and research in the field of community media and life-long learning, is leading the project’s research activities, including national reports and focus groups to explore good practice on media and migration and to assess audience feedback to the New Neighbours films.

Daniela Drastata, chairwoman of the EBU Intercultural and Diversity Group commented:

I am delighted we have this great opportunity to see the EBU Intercultural and Diversity Group’s documentary collection New Neighbours growing and developing into an EU funded project that now involves organisations known for their excellence in recognising diversity as an opportunity.”

We look forward to seeing the New Neighbours website develop into a reference point for media, policy makers and civil society, and we welcome inputs and materials from all organisations committed to promoting intercultural dialogue and integration.” said Alessia Giannoni, project manager at COSPE Onlus.

New Neighbours is funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

You can follow the project via #newneighbours and www.newneighbours.eu

For further information, please contact:

Nadia Bellardi, CMFE, nadia.bellardi(@)cmfe.eu