Migration Media Award: a shift in the way migration is reported

Europe’s 2015 migration crisis saw arrivals via the Mediterranean peak at more than one million. The numbers may have dropped to 41,000 this year, according to the United Nations, but the mass movement of people has become the biggest story of our time, even swaying elections, including in France, Germany, Austria and Italy.

We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. With that has come a troubling tendency for journalists to produce stories that indulge in what Aidan White, president of the Ethical Journalism Network, describes as “victim journalism” – focusing on the ordeal of migration and the misery of the process, rather than identifying solutions, holding those responsible to account and signposting positive outcomes.

“Well-written, powerful and emotional testimony from victims is not enough for journalism to tell stories effectively and ethically. Revealing the horrors of the crisis is important. But when we do so, we should think about what we can do to make a difference,” says Aidan.

We have acknowledged the best, and often bravest, in migration coverage from across the spectrum.

David Quin, director of development, Thomson Foundation


Rising to the challenge

Many of the submissions to the second OPEN Media Hub-supported Migration Media Award, do rise to this challenge. The best of which have been announced at an event in Tunis this September.

The purpose of the EU-funded journalism competition is to recognise excellence, relevance and newsworthiness of journalistic pieces dealing with migration in all its aspects in the Euro-Mediterranean region. 

In order to win the award, eligible entries need to consist of an already published story and a proposal for winning an EU-funded contract to produce new content covering migration. 

“For the last two years we have acknowledged the best, and often bravest, in migration coverage from across the spectrum. Journalists covering not just crisis but context, human faces behind statistics, challenges to communities,” said David Quin, director of development at Thomson Foundation, the leading implementer of the OPEN Media Hub.

"What I saw was the resilience and the dignity of these people"

Jaime Alekos, first prize winner

In the six categories of video, print, online, photo, multimedia or radio in the English, French or Arabic languages, the winning entries feature fact-based and impartial reporting on migration, its many challenges and opportunities. 

Forty-one journalists from 18 countries were rewarded for journalistic excellence in the way they reported on migration. All winning entries are available here.

#MigrationMedia #OPENMediaHub

Above image: Preethi Nallu's story for Al Jazeera, 'Europe's Outsourced Refugees' 


UN General Assembly: Overcoming a distorted narrative on migration

Watch Thomson Foundation's Dominique Thierry moderate a high-level #UNGA debate on migration at the UN headquarters in New York on September 28th, 2018


First prize winners

Migration Media Award 2018

The OPEN Media Hub-supported Migration Media Award 


Alessandro Puglia, Italy

The Barefoot Nun Amongst the Nigerian Prostitutes 

Anne Ilcinkas, France-Lebanon

Two Syrian Families in the Land of One Hundred Valleys: The Story of a New Departure 


Arafat Duhib, Tunisia

Rest of the Story


Cécile Debarge, France

A Death Certificate Leads to a New Life


Daniel Howden, UK

Refugees Deeply


Ibrahim Mustafa, Egypt

Europe is not Paradise


Jaime Alekos, Spain

Welcome to Refugee Purgatory


Leïla Beratto, Algeria

Migrants Become Part of the Black-Market Economy 


Preethi Nallu, India

Europe’s Outsourced Refugees


Abdellatif Salhi, Algeria

African Workers in Algeria 


Sally Hayden and Ziad Algahandour, Ireland & Syria

The Road Back to Damascus


Related content


UNGA: Overcoming a distorted narrative

Moderated by Thomson Foundation, a high-level session at the UN General Assembly addressed the media's role in the migration debate.


Course: Reporting on Migration

An OPEN Media Hub course giving journalists a good understanding of the complex issues of migration, refugees and human trafficking.


Course: The Ethical Journalist's Toolkit

A Journalism Now online course designed to increase your ability to cover sensitive subjects and tackle ethical challenges.

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