The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with Associazione Carta di Roma staged a workshop for media professionals from Africa and Europe who are covering migration issues.
The workshop, which held from February 10 to 14 in Rome, created a platform for 12 journalists from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Senegal and Italy to share ideas on migration dynamics.
The dialogue is carried out in the framework of the “Aware migrants – From Migrants to Migrants” project which is being financed by the Italian Ministry of Interior.
Within this period, the journalists visited the newsrooms of La Stampa Newspaper, Associated Press, Rai Television, Rai Radio and La7 editorial offices where discussions were held with journalists and managers of the media organisations.
The journalists learnt, amongst others, the perspectives of European news organisations and governments on migration.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop, Giulia Falzoi from IOM Italy said the intention of the workshop was to provide a platform for journalists to share information and ideas on migration which will in turn, impact on how they tell the migration stories in their respective media organisations.
“We realized that most people know nothing about migration,” she said. “This project want to create a bridge from countries of migration to countries of destination.
“We want stakeholders to provide the right information on political, economic and social situation in the countries involved.”
Also, Flavio Di Giacomo from IOM Italy said the narratives about migrants in Italian media was not presenting the real picture of situation.
He noted that the media in Italy see migrants as people who have come to invade their country, calling for change of narratives.
A Nigerian journalist, Tersoo Zamber, who also participated in the workshop, said the workshop was “very rewarding.”
According to him, “It’s good to get an idea of what’s happening in term of migration from this other side of the divide.”
While acknowledging that he learned so much from the interactions, he was excited that he also got an opportunity to enlighten the Europe-based journalists about how migration is viewed in Africa and Nigeria in particular.