Tell real stories of migrants – Dr Serwono



A lecturer of the University of Cape Coast, Dr Michael Yao Wodui Serwono has urged African journalists to focus more on telling the real story of migrants in order to expose the challenges they faced in host countries.

According to him, the African media often dwelt on the European media for information on migration, this he indicated had contributed to the inhumane reports on migration in Africa.

Dr Serwono said this at a three-day workshop on media and migration which began in Accra on Monday with a call on journalists to help change the perception of the society towards illegal migration.

The workshop was aimed at building the capacity of journalists in order to pay attention on migration and ensure that important issues were not left out in their reportage.

A study by Journalism in Global Context (JIGC) revealed that African and European coverage on migration were often dominated by disasters, neglected citizens and paid little attention to migration leaving out important information.

Dr Serwono called on the government and civil society to pay much attention to illegal migration in order to end the menace.

“Our states must confront this, the issues we face here are the same we face there,” he said adding that “no country is happy to know that its citizens are dying in the high seas”.

He urged the media to show humanity and avoid victimisation over simplification and the framing of coverage in a narrow humanitarian context which did not account to the bigger picture.

Dr Etienne Fopa Simo, a professor at the Technical University of Dortmund Germany, on his part urged the African journalists to create their own source of information on migration.

He cautioned illegal migrants not to dream of adventures in Europe saying “you cannot be assured of a better living standard in Europe.”

Dr Simo advised the African journalists to promote the continent and speak for all rather than “painting the continent black” with their reportage.

Marcus Kreutler, a research fellow at the Erich-Brost Institut for International Journalism, noted that there was the need for African journalists to tell the story of migrants from an African perspective.

He advised journalists to help shape the opinion of the public about migration and migrants as the coverage had effects on them.



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