Workshop on media narrative and attitude towards migration
A total of three workshops on the topic of the media narrative in migration aim to gather the key actors of this process and result in the analysis of the existing media narrative on migration, defining challenges, goals, recommendations, and future guidelines for reporting in crisis situations related to irregular migration.
The first workshop on the "Media narrative and attitudes toward migration" was held as part of the project "Reducing irregular migration to the EU by strengthening the capacity of migration-related structures in the Western Balkans", in Konjic (from 09. - 11. March), organized by Hilfswerk International and Association for Help and Development HAJDE, in cooperation with the Ministry of security of Bosnia & Herzegovina. This workshop brought together representatives of international and local organizations and key local media, where they used the opportunity to analyze the existing media narrative on migration, specific experiences they had during reporting on the migrant crisis, and humanitarian action. Future guidelines for reporting in crisis situations and defining goals and recommendations for responses in emerging crisis situations were also discussed.
The importance of the media and media reporting, especially in crisis situations, was recognized at the beginning of the migrant crisis in the affected countries of the Western Balkans. The problem of reporting on the course of the migrant crisis and presenting the picture of migration and migrants to the general public was noticed at the very beginning, creating a feeling of mistrust and fear for the inhabitants of the most affected areas. It has become clear that information, reporting, and public relations need to be more credible, concise, and transparent.
Transmitting the above picture of migration in the first wave of migrants in the Western Balkans, the local population of the most affected cities (but also the country's population in general) often resented the new situation in which the loss of the sense of control reached its peak. Key actors in the whole process - representatives of security structures, the media, and local and international organizations that have worked and are working in the field of migration, have become a major factor in influencing and creating a broader picture of migration in its infancy and today.
One of the main conclusions is that the authorities, media, and non-governmental organizations should work as hard as possible to strengthen and improve relations amongst each other to be able to function and react more easily in crisis situations.
The project "Reducing irregular migration to the EU by strengthening the capacity of migration-related structures in the Western Balkans" is co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Austria and implemented by Hilfswerk International in cooperation with the Association for Help and Development "HAJDE”.