Better Reporting For Safer Migration As SMC Partners UN Migration, Global Migration Media Academy

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Better reportage on the complexity of migration is the focus as the School of Media & Communication; Pan Atlantic University collaborates with the International Organisation for Migration (UN Migration Agency) and the Global Migration Media Academy to facilitate a programme over two weeks. The title of the programme is “Media and Migration from the Global South”.

Participants in the programme that started on 10 May 2022 include final year and postgraduate students as well as journalists from across the country.  Five returnee migrants will share their experiences.

Twenty-five journalists from Maiduguri, Yola, Abuja, Benin, and Lagos will run the second stream of the programme from 16 May 2022.

Cyprine Cheptepkeny, Project Officer of the International Organisation for Migration said the IOM is excited about the possibilities of the Global Migration Media Academy in deepening narratives on migration. The IOM carefully chose to collaborate with the School of Media & Communication in the pilot programme that it would replicate in four other countries.

Migration has grown in intensity and impact across the world with many African countries involved in local and international migration. Cheptepkeny said the UN Migration would want better reportage of the trending global issue beyond the headlines that report boat disasters and similar accidents.

The International Organisation for Migration works “to ensure humane and orderly migration in the interest of humanity”, the Project Officer added. Working with journalists, she said the IOM hopes to educate citizens on the broader contexts of migration across international relations, diplomacy, economics, culture, and the health issues around it.

The International Organisation for Migration would have students in mass communication and journalists to know what is happening in the migration world to ensure better communication of the issues. Moreover, she added, the data shows that migration affects persons 13 to 35 years in the youth demographic.

Dr Mike Okolo, the Dean, said the SMC was glad to collaborate with the IOM as it aligns with its mission to impact society. “We are glad to partner with an organisation with a similar mission to affect society”.

Okolo added, “We do not see migration as negative. We see it as something that requires control and management as part of the human story”.

Course Coordinator Dr Chike Mgbeadichie disclosed that the training seeks to “problematise migration, its opportunities and challenges from the perspective of the global South, explore the centrality of the media in shaping the societal discourse of migration and unpack the role of the media to assist nation-states, and civil societies in their campaign for effective migration.”

Facilitators come from SMC, the University of Wits, South Africa, and UN Migration in Geneva. They will tackle topics such as Migrations, Climate Change and Dot Connections; Development Communication and Migration; Culture and Migration; Social Realities: The ‘here and there’ Discourse; Community Development and Policy Initiatives; Reporting Migration and the Japan Narrative; Reporting Vulnerable Audience and Migration through Storytelling; social media and Migration Reporting; Media Ethics and Migration; Reporting on Data.

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