MDI Trainees’ Stories Published in the European Media

Published: 11 January 2018

Region: Europe

MAH_Articles_Photos_1Journalists who participated in a workshop titled “Reporting on Migration & Refugees” organised by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) in September 2017, as part of the Media Against Hate Speech project, have had the stories they produced during the workshop on migrants, refugees and asylum seekers published in some of the most prominent European media such as Deutsche Welle, TPortal in Croatia and the public radio in Portugal.

While attending the workshop in London, a journalist from Berlin, Johanna investigated the growing tendency in the UK to place refugee children into foster families. Women who gathered under a slogan “Support not Separation” after their children were taken and put into foster care, talked to Johanna explaining why they demand help from the British authorities. Another participant Loveday told a story of a woman who used to be a leading dentistry expert in Damascus, now trying to get a job in Germany.

Casting a light on organisations that are helping refugees in the UK, Felipe interviewed Adam who was forced to flee his country in Africa. With the help of the Entrepreneurial Refugee Network, Adam is now able to set up his own business in London, Felipe reports in his radio piece for the Portuguese public broadcaster.

Boróka Parászka, a journalist from Hungary, told the stories of refugees trapped between East and South-East and West Europe and their efforts to cross European borders. Ania introduced the policy of “hostile environment” to her Polish readers recalling a suicide of a 28-year-old Polish man at an immigration detention centre in London.

Refugees and asylum seekers were not the only focus of the fifteen participants of the workshop. Doctors who migrated from Hungary to London after 2004 or young Croatian professionals, who only recently came to work in the UK, were also covered. Zoltan and Nefreteta wanted to know how Brexit will affect their lives and potentially their status as European nationals after Britain’s exit from the EU.

Maybe the most striking parallel between the narrative surrounding refugees in Europe 20 yaers ago and today was summarised in an interview with Zrinka Bralo, Executive Director of Migrants Organise. “Amongst Londoners it used to be ‘in’ to have a friend from Bosnia. Today some media report on refugees as ‘cockroaches’,” Bralo says.

Following the advice of lead trainer Mike Jempson that “migrants and refugees are not numbers, but people with a name and a story to tell,” journalists who attended the workshop in London continue to write and publish refugees and migrants’ stories in the European media.

The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) is one of the partners gathered by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) for the project Media against Hate Speech (#MediaAgainstHate). Other partners involved in the project are: Article 19, Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE), Community Media Institute (COMMIT), Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti (COSPE). The project is financially supported by the European Commission (DG Justice and Consumers).