Migration and the media: The impact of the debate

GMT 17:01 Friday ,10 April 2015

 Migrant Voice - Migration and the media: The impact of the debate

MV

New study by Migrant Voice

 Migration and the media: The impact of the debate - perspectives and voices of migrants

Our research has found that over 90% of migrants feel at least partially integrated into British society. 

Over one third of migrants feel fully integrated into British society, with a further 55% feeling partially integrated.  Just 8% do not feel integrated at all.

Yet months before the general election, migrants felt totally excluded from the political debate about migration.

Two thirds of migrants told Migrant Voice that media and political debates have an impact on their sense of belonging.

Migrants say that the tone of the political debate on migration as well as the media’s reporting of migration issues have both undermined the relationship between migrants and the British-born population, and have led to an increase in racism and discrimination.

A study of eight of Britain’s biggest media outlets, published by Migrant Voice in June 2014, revealed that migrants’ views were quoted in a mere 12% of all articles focusing on migration.

Nazek Ramadan said:

“Migrants - politicians like to talk about them, no-one ever bothers to talk to them.  It’s a myth that migrants who live in Britain don’t want to integrate. 

“As this study shows, the good news is that the vast majority of migrants share values important to many Britons - they just feel excluded from debates about migration.

“When politicians throw ill-informed comments around, it creates fear and distrust on both sides.  Yet – thankfully – the vast majority of Britons feel positive about the migrants they encounter in their daily lives, and the feeling is mutual.

“Far from the idea that debating migration is off-limits, it turns out that the only people “banned” from discussing migration are migrants themselves.”

Here are some of the comments from migrants involved in this study:

“Politicians and the media influence public debate, and […] they are encouraging people who are worried about the effects of austerity to blame migrants.”

“It makes me feel like we are guilty of everything, that migrants should be blamed for everything.  Even starting from the economic crisis, through to the benefits problems, bedroom tax and the NHS cuts. Everything. That’s how it’s being portrayed by the media.”

“I prefer to send email rather than speak on the phone for I don't want to be treated differently just because of my accent.”

Migrant Voice has organized Meet a Migrant events for members of the public in Birmingham in 2014 and is organising ones in other cities in 2015. The organisation has challenged every newspaper and TV news editor to meet a migrant themselves ahead of the General Election.

To read the full report: http://bit.ly/1aeFFjk

 

 

 

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