Debate on Media and Migration at UNESCO

The impact of news and social media on the refugee and migrant issue in the countries they flee from and to will be the subject of a thematic debate on 18 March (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), during the annual meeting of the Bureau of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) at UNESCO’s Headquarters.

The Chair of the IPDC, Albana Shala, who is also a Programme Coordinator at Free Press Unlimited, a Dutch organization supporting independent media around the world, will moderate the debate. Five panellists* will take part in the discussion, experts from the UN, Lebanon, Turkey and the Netherlands. They will speak about the ethical and professional challenges journalists are facing as they report on the flow of refugees and migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa and its impact in countries of transit and in the countries they aspire to settle in.

Representatives of UNESCO’s Member States, will be invited to contribute to the debate, which will also consider the impact of social media in the refugee and immigration issue, which is challenging many host and transit countries’ democratic and human rights values.

The debate will be part of the 60th session of the IPDC Bureau, which will also examine issues pertaining to the safety of journalists around the world and ways to monitor progress in public access to information, one of the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN General Assembly in late 2015.

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Media contact for accreditation and information: Roni Amelan, UNESCO Media Section, r.amelan(at)unesco.org +33 (0)1 45 6 16 50

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*Melissa Fleming, Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Guita Hourani, Director of the Lebanese Emigration Research Center at Notre Dame University, Lebanon, Nevin Yildiz Tahincioglu, Hacettepe University, Ankara, contributor to the report “Migration: Global Report on Journalism’s Biggest Test in 2015”, Jacco van Sterkenburg, Assistant Professor, Department of Media & Communication, Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture, Netherlands, and Aidan White, Ethical Journalism Network, author of Migration: Global Report on Journalism’s Biggest Test in 2015