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Experts challenge media on migration reporting

By Gbenga Salau
15 December 2019   |   3:56 am
Media practitioners have been urged to expand interest, capacity and coverage of migration, which has become a global developmental issue, with Nigeria at the epicentre.

• AS JIFORM Commends IOM On Migration Reporting Charter

Media practitioners have been urged to expand interest, capacity and coverage of migration, which has become a global developmental issue, with Nigeria at the epicenter.

This was the resounding charge at a one-day migration workshop, organised by The Migrant Project in Lagos for Radio, TV, Print and Online journalists with the theme, “Media & Migration: Telling stories that count”.Speaking on the imperatives of robust migration reporting and mainstreaming, Media Career Development Specialist, Lekan Otufodunrin, challenged journalists and bloggers to pay attention to new realities that interest media consumers.

According to the Media Lead, The Migrant Project, Tayo Elegbede, migration is a socio-economic and political issue that requires multilateral collaboration.

Meanwhile, Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) has commended the International Organisation For Migration (IOM) for rallying round journalists across the globe to produce a charter for the effective coverage of migration matters. The documents serve as guide for reportage of migrants and policy formulations.In a statement, the President of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi, at the end of a two-day summit in Tunisia, where the Arabic version of the charter was launched, praised IOM for empowering journalists to tell the unadulterated story of migrants.

He tasked media across the continents to use the charter for better and improved coverage of migration activities, by standing for the truth and professional presentation of facts with the right usage of terminologies.

“We join IOM to say never again must migrants be referred to as “‘illegal migrant, but instead irregular migrant. Journalists should be conscious not to blame migrants for their situations with unacceptable vocabularies emanating from the news rooms.

“We must be ready to see migrants as economic developers because of their potentials. A lot of statistics have proved their economic relevance. Henceforth, our headlines must be friendly and not alarming, such that we must reflect the root cause of displacement of people, instead of the actions in response to that,” he said.

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