Media Coverage of Migration
In the context of migration, the media is crucial in delivering verified information, informed opinions as well as balanced and inclusive narratives. The way the media covers migration will affect the range and quality of information received by the public, particularly migrants, as well as how societies perceive and relate to the issue. By encouraging professional and ethical media reporting, the Organization is helping to strengthen media responses and foster diversity of content, audience, sources and systems.
While human migration is an age-old phenomenon, the movement of people from all walks of life is greater than ever before. In 2017, the number of international migrants – the total number of people residing in a country other than their country of birth – was estimated at 258 million compared to about 173 million in 2000, and 102 million in 1980 (IOM, 2018) Despite attracting much media attention, the complex situation of migration, the diversity of migrants and their situations could be more accurately portrayed. Untruths - disinformation, mal-information and misinformation – should be avoided. The voices of migrants, especially women migrants, should be present.
Under the overall framework of promoting a pluralistic and diverse media, UNESCO works actively to reinforce the capacity of media in covering migration issues. This includes engaging with partners and taking part in global discussion on media responses, as well as developing capacity-building resources, such as guidelines for media professionals, and opportunities. One such example is the project ‘Empowering Young People in Africa through Media and Communication’, comprising 8 countries: Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
UNESCO’s work in the area of media and migration further contributes to several objectives of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which calls for the elimination of all forms of discrimination and the promotion of evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration, through promoting independent, objective and quality reporting of media outlets.