Migrants and refugees have suddenly jumped to the top of the news agenda. During 2015 television screens and newspapers have been filled with stories about the appalling loss of life and suffering of thousands of people escaping war in the Middle East or oppression and poverty in Africa and elsewhere.
Migrants and refugees are a vulnerable minority who can quickly become scapegoats for the ills of society: social and economic decline, crime and unemployment, pressure on welfare services and lack of security; and what is unquestionable is that media play a crucial role in shaping a healthy public opinion on these issues.
The risk is to have a media coverage dominated by loose language, political bias, hate-speech, stereotyping and social exclusion of refugees and migrants, which lead to a climate of intolerance, xenophobia and racism.
The aim of this roundtable is to build a constructive dialogue between media and refugee groups, activists and NGOs, many of which provide vital information for journalists, and to draft a practical Guide on how best to communicate with journalists and media. At the same time the debate highlights the good and the bad journalistic practices in covering migration end refugee crisis.
Good journalism shapes a better world.