Students Tackle Negative Migration Narratives at IOM Media Academy

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David Donoghue, former Ireland's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, giving keynote address at the opening session of the Global Migration Media Academy summer school in Galway, Ireland. Photo: IOM/Alejandro Cartagena
David Donoghue, former Ireland's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, giving keynote address at the opening session of the Global Migration Media Academy summer school in Galway, Ireland. Photo: IOM/Alejandro Cartagena
Spining

David Donoghue, former Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, giving keynote address at the opening session of the Global Migration Media Academy summer school in Galway, Ireland. Photo: IOM/Alejandro Cartagena
Galway – The media play a critical role in shaping the public narrative about migration, influencing policy decisions and impacting the way migrants are perceived.

In response to the alarming rise in misinformation and anti-migrant xenophobia, and drawing on decades of experience in media training, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in December 2020 launched the Global Migration Media Academy (GMMA), whose first summer school for journalists and media students opens today (20/06) in collaboration with the National University of Ireland, Galway.

“The Academy equips journalists with the tools and knowledge they need to report on migration in a fair, balanced and informed manner that acknowledges both the challenges and the enormous social and economic opportunities migration provides when properly managed,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino.

“I am pleased to see that more than 50 students, journalists and academics from around the world who successfully completed the first course of virtual studies have joined the summer school this week, and look forward to seeing the stories they produce in collaboration with their trainers.”

Fifty-three participants from Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Serbia, Ireland and the Philippines are attending the summer school where they will hone their research and reporting skills and learn about different migration dynamics through seminars and practical sessions.

Participants said the flagship online GMMA foundation course they needed to complete to be considered eligible for the summer school was instructive.

“The foundation course opened my eyes to the gravity of migration issues and the different reasons that people are forced to migrate from their countries,” said Filipino journalist Noel Murad. “It enlightened me on the nuances of migration-related terms and how to avoid sensationalizing migrant issues for a quick story.”

The week-long summer school includes a lecture series and round-table discussions with media experts from the BBC, Irish Government’s negotiator for the Good Friday Agreement, a Pulitzer Prize winner, Google News Lab, UN agencies, Irish Times and Cadena Ser. The participants will also get an opportunity to visit Ireland National Broadcasting service studies (RTÉ).

“With participants coming from different parts of the world, we are hoping to have a comparative analysis of the various migratory experiences across the world, study their particularities and commonalities, as well as reflect on the best options to present them to the public through the media,” said Professor Rodolfo Casillas, a media migration academic from Mexico and co-author of the GMMA foundation course.

The GMMA is co-funded by the IOM Development Fund and Irish Aid.

The summer school will run from 20 June through 25 June.

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