Combatting Misinformation on Migration through Media Awareness
Belgrade - The issue of migration is a complex and widespread phenomenon that affects millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, discussions surrounding the topic are often plagued by misinformation and harmful stereotypes, which can lead to prejudice and discrimination against migrant communities.
To address this issue, a three-day workshop was organized last week in Belgrade, which brought together around 40 journalists, media students, and experts from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia to explore ways in which migration issues can be better represented in the media. The workshop, co-organized by the University of Belgrade and the International Organization for Migration's Global Migration Media Academy, aimed to promote accurate reporting on migration and dispel common myths and misconceptions.
Laura Lungarotti, IOM Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans, highlighted the importance of basing reporting on migration on facts and evidence. “By bringing together journalists and media experts, workshops like this one provide a platform to discuss migration using human stories and a more balanced and positive narratives,” Lungarotti added.
Dr. Natalija Prišić, Vice Dean for the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Belgrade, emphasized the need for ethical reporting on migration that presents a non-sensationalistic portrayal of migrants, allowing readers to understand their true needs alongside those of the local population. “Such balanced reporting is essential for communities to recognize and accept migrants,” she added.
The workshop focused on photojournalism and the power of images in reporting on migration. It aimed to explore how the portrayal of migrants in the media shapes the way they are treated in society. By emphasizing the importance of ethical, accurate reporting on migration, the workshop aimed to create a more positive and inclusive narrative around the issue.
Misinformation about migration can have far-reaching consequences, including creating obstacles to the integration and inclusion of migrant communities in society. At a time when migration is an increasingly important issue in the global arena, it is crucial that media and humanitarian organizations promote accurate information and challenge harmful stereotypes.
The GMMA organizes workshops that provide media students an opportunity to interact with journalists and learn from their experiences covering migration stories.
“Coming together and sharing experiences as future journalists is crucial for helping us break stereotypes about migrants by learning how to accurately portray their voices and experiences in the media,” explained Milica Kascelan, a journalism student in attendance from the University of Montenegro.
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