Panos Institute West Africa Activity Report 2011

Poor quality journalism was also perceived as a problem when covering
migration issues in Senegal, Mali and Mauritania, following a study
in the three countries. Again, stereotyping of migrants and negative
portrayals hampered an objective approach. Analysis of coverage
found that the media covered complex issues in very little detail and
regularly reproduced Northern news agency material, which can be
condescending, negative and paternalistic.
Over 100 journalists, NGO representatives and migrants themselves
attended a PIWA event where the study results formed the basis
for discussion.
Migration was the subject of a rich debate at the World Social Forum
in February 2011 between journalists, NGO representatives working with
migrants and activists such as the ‘Ministry for the regularisation of all
the undocumented’. Participants strongly criticised how migrants were
stigmatised in the media and urged that alternative media be developed
to change perceptions by hearing the voices of migrants themselves.
Coming up in 2012: Migrants in the media and the media as seen by
migrants – a report highlighting the outcomes of the project aiming to
encourage greater media pluralism and better reporting on diversity.

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