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The audience once principally consumers of news, are increasingly producers and disseminators of news. Citizen journalists post text, pictures and videos on social media. This makes it more important than ever to provide guidance on ethical standards and fact checking in journalism and to raise awareness of how reporting news can affect the fundamental rights of all of us. The e-Media Toolkit on Migration, a web-based capacity-building platform, is aimed mainly at those covering migration news to be later disseminated or published by media organisations or any other online platform as news.
It is therefore targeted mainly at media professionals, but also at journalism students, as well as freelance and citizens journalists.
The Trainer’s Manual and the e-Media Toolkit are intended for adult learners and, therefore, the learning approach adopted is designed to appeal to this group. Adult learners need to be actively involved in the learning process by making choices relevant to their learning needs and objectives. For this reason, the e-Media Toolkit takes an interactive approach.
The trainer is to use the different chapters of the Trainer’s Manual to self-design a workshop for a specific audience based on its interests. The exercises are to get participants involved from the outset by taking a tailor-made approach, considering real-life dilemmas that they have come across in the newsroom. The more the content connects their past experience with their current knowledge base and activities, the more relevant it will be to them and, hence, the more effective will be their learning.
This pilot toolkit has been devised by journalists and media trainers to help reporters and editors working on international migration. It will be the starting point of a broader project on how to cover news while maintaining respect for diversity and human rights.
Its premise is that diversity and human rights are best covered through responsible, ethical journalism that acknowledges the diversity of minorities and respects migrants as human beings rather than treating them as a political, social and economic problem.
The pilot toolkit includes examples of how the media in France and the United Kingdom reported on the large numbers of migrants’ arrivals that began in 2015, from different angles, and analyses the media coverage to illustrate good practice.
The toolkit also contains training exercises that can be done individually or in groups to improve participants’ skills and knowledge, as well as tips for reporters and editors that will serve as useful reminders, a glossary of legal terms and links to organisations that can provide useful data and further information.
The essence of responsible, ethical journalism is treating people fairly. This means practising professional journalistic diligence – checking the accuracy of information and correcting mistakes quickly and transparently; it means giving as much background information as necessary for readers and listeners to fully understand the story; it means letting people tell their own stories, in their own words, whenever possible; and it means avoiding inflammatory or extremist language.