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.
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”
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.
Above image: Preethi Nallu's story for Al Jazeera, 'Europe's Outsourced Refugees'
The OPEN Media Hub-supported Migration Media Award
The Barefoot Nun Amongst the Nigerian Prostitutes
Two Syrian Families in the Land of One Hundred Valleys: The Story of a New Departure
Rest of the Story
A Death Certificate Leads to a New Life
Europe is not Paradise
Welcome to Refugee Purgatory
Migrants Become Part of the Black-Market Economy
Europe’s Outsourced Refugees
African Workers in Algeria
The Road Back to Damascus
Moderated by Thomson Foundation, a high-level session at the UN General Assembly addressed the media's role in the migration debate.
An OPEN Media Hub course giving journalists a good understanding of the complex issues of migration, refugees and human trafficking.
A Journalism Now online course designed to increase your ability to cover sensitive subjects and tackle ethical challenges.