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Challenges of Refugee Reporting



According to a recent U.N report, there are 272 million migrants spread around the globe. With the 70.8 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, around 37,000 people are forced to flee their homes every day due to conflict or persecution. Today’s traditional media, being confused between hedonistic and altruistic approach, often adds crisis to migrant & refugee issues. When it comes to ‘Refugee Journalism’ or ‘Migrant Journalism’, even a slight non-professional, un-ethical or biased journalistic attitude leads to many problems for the victims. While travelling around the Asian region I had come across various case studies where the misrepresentation of refugees caused them to face bullying, harassment while local people terming them as opportunists, terrorists and liability to the societies, etc. Few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to represent media fraternity on this subject. INTI International University organized a half-day seminar on highlighting the challenges of refugees & migrants. Discussing the challenges faced by the producers and reporters, my approach was to highlight different aspects of storytelling regarding this subject. Some of my talking points were: 1. Media’s role in refugee journalism 2. Editorial challenges 3. Do’s & Dont’s of interviewing refugees 4. Common mistakes made by the field reporters 5. Targets related to SDG-8 & SDG-10 6. Telling refugee stories with different perspectives involving stakeholders i.e. Governments, Authorities, Media, Civil Society, NGOS and Refugees. 7. Role of Citizen journalists Apart from thanking AIBD Director & my colleagues, I am humbled by the respect and honor given by INTI International University Nilai and especially Ms Cheryl Witha.

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