Berlin: New Neighbours Media Training for CSOs

Dates: 10-12 October 2019

Location: Berlin, Germany

Media Diversity Institute (MDI) recently completed the fourth New Neighbors media training for CSOs in Berlin, Germany.

New Neighbours is a European Broadcasters Union-led project designed to bring positive stories of refugees, migrants and assimilation to local and community media. Media Diversity Institute is supporting the project by training civil society actors to create campaigns and more effectively communicate with journalists and media organizations to spread constructive stories about migrants and refugees.

Given Germany’s unique position as home to the highest number of refugees in the European Union, Berlin was the perfect location for such a training. Eight participants representing legal, cultural and economic development initiatives joined, each contributing their unique expertise working closely with migrants and refugees. Conversations covered topics ranging from how much journalists should give a platform to give the Alternatives for Deutscheland (AfD) party to how to discuss racism while avoiding spreading prejudice in the media.

Participants responded positively, appreciating how the workshop was tailored to their organisations’ needs.

“The flexibility of the workshop agenda and trainer allowed this workshop to best suit the needs of the participants, who benefited greatly from spontaneous practical exercises such as practicing getting interviewed by a journalist and editing existing campaigns,” said Sophia Burton, who attended the workshop representing the CSO Migration Matters.

Since the beginning of the New Neighbors project (coordinated in tandem with the Community Media Forum Europe, COMMIT, and COSPE in addition to the leading partner, the European Broadcasters Union) MDI has organized trainings in Croatia, Italy and Spain. The project has also produced thoroughly-researched fact sheets focusing on how anti-migrant sentiment is reflected in the media in each of the participant countries.

According to MDI trainer Dasha Ilic, the German CSO representatives expertise in working closely with refugee populations showed.

“These participants were among some of the strongest I’ve worked with,” she said. “Their level of understanding context in which anti-migrant sentiments are created, and how to counter them was extremely high.”

Over the next few months, a few of the participants will have a chance to develop these ideas into campaigns, with the goal of improving coverage of migrants and refugees in the German media.

Follow the project on social media, #newneighbours. Check out the website here and fact sheets about each country here.