The media representation of refugees and migrants in Europe has been researched through a ‘Refugees Reporting’ project. Participating countries were Greece, Italy, Spain, Serbia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Norway. In addition, interviews were conducted with representatives of refugee networks and media, including a consultation bringing people from both groups together to review the initial research findings.
The report is based on the ‘Refugees Reporting’ project on Refugees and Communication Rights in Europe, coordinated by the World Association for Christian Communication - Europe Region (WACC Europe) and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME). They believe that the representation of refugees and migrants in the media plays a major role in the tone of the public debate and, ultimately, in the welcome and integration of refugees and migrants into their new countries.
Some of the key findings of the research are disturbing:
- Only 21% of news items on asylum and migration reference a refugee or migrant. Over three-quarters of the stories analysed in this project that talk about migration and asylum issues do not identify an individual refugee or migrant nor include their voice or experience.
- Certain groups of people are even more invisible. Women and some other groups of people are disproportionately absent from the news on refugees and migrants. Of the 21% of articles that mentioned a refugee or migrant, in only about one quarter (27%) was that person a woman. In other words, of all people mentioned in the news articles, only 6% were refugee women.
- Of the 21% of the news items that reference migrants or refugees, less than half (40%) of the articles quoted them directly. This result points to a trend of indirect representation of refugees and migrants in the news. Direct quotes are the most accurate way to represent people. Inaccuracy of representation can easily lead to misunderstanding, and misunderstanding can in turn lead to a lack of tolerance.
A report worth reading – go to the report
If you are interested in collaborating on the next stages of this project please contact Sarah Speicher, Development Manager, WACC UK
More information about the project is available at www.RefugeesReporting.eu Refugees Reporting is a project of the World Association for Christian Communication – Europe Region (WACC Europe) and The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME).