Let the media work for you

GMT 18:24 Tuesday ,22 April 2014

 Migrant Voice - Let the media work for you

On March 25th, Migrant Voice hosted a media seminar. The training event brought together journalists, experts in migration, and local migrant community figures to engage in an evening discussing recent media representations of migrants from Syria, Romania, and Bulgaria. The strategic purpose of the seminar gave attendants the chance to ask questions about how to tactically engage with media. Exploring how to use the media for personal benefit, the discussion panel was comprised of Harriet Grant, Ian Dunt, Dr. Tommy Tomescu, and Migrant Voice’s own Nazek Ramadan. Harriet Grant is a freelance journalist who works for the Guardian, the BBC and Channel 4 News. Ian Dunt is the editor of politics.co.uk. Dr. Tommy Tomescu is the co-president of the Alliance Against Romanian and Bulgarian Discrimination. At the beginning of the event, a documentary (Syria: a crisis at Fortress Europe's gates) was screened for the audience. Having played a hand in the production of the film, Harriet Grant took questions and explained the process of film making. The film follows Syrian refugees in their attempts to reach the safety of Europe and documents the difficult lives of refugees who have made it to Bulgaria. These stories are told through a context of the securitization of the borders by European policies designed to keep borders shut. After hearing from invited guests in the crowd through a series of ‘pop-up’ speakers from members of various migrant communities, the panel answered questions related to effectively engaging the media. Multiple points were made emphasizing the need to understand the media climate. When the media is intensely focused on one subject unrelated to your interest, it may be best to delay publication of a report or the release of the story. Also, while the most prominent media organizations may not pick up on a story immediately, their editors do read from smaller news blogs to see how stories trend. While raising your point of view, it is important to fight back with level-headed facts and personal human stories to counter negative stereotypes.

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