Media practitioners in Nigeria have been urged to expand their interest, capacity and coverage of migration, which has become a global developmental issue with Nigeria at the epicentre. This was the resounding charge at a one-day migration workshop organised by The Migrant Project in Lagos on Thursday for Radio, TV, Print and Online journalists with the theme “Media & Migration: Telling stories that count”.
Speaking on the imperatives of robust migration reporting and mainstreaming, Media Career Development Specialist, Lekan Otufodunrin said: “Based on a 2017 report, 258 million of the world’s population do not live in their countries of origin. Many Nigerians are risking their lives by attempting to migrate irregularly to Europe via Libya, dreaming of success. Indeed, 9 in 10 Nigerian potential migrants expect to find a job within four months once in Europe. In reality, irregular migration from Nigeria to Europe is a risky choice.”
Mr Lekan Otufodunrin speaking on mainstreaming migration in media reporting Otufodunrin challenged journalists and bloggers to pay attention to new realities that interest media consumers. He encouraged the dissemination of information on local and global migration trends and alternatives that can help the public make informed migration decisions.
Journalists need to understand the factors influencing migration, processes and policies, and institutions involved, said Dr Qasim Akinreti, Deputy Director Digital Media, Voice Of Nigeria, while speaking on the migration reporting guidelines.
He urged journalists to present holistic narratives on migration based on facts and not biases. Dr Akinreti also challenged the participants to adopt multimedia tools and investigative techniques in reporting migration issues.
According to Media Lead, The Migrant Project, Tayo Elegbede, migration is a socio-economic and political issue that requires multilateral collaboration in Nigeria and globally. “Access to information is critical to checking migration anomalies; that is why we have organised this workshop. It aims to enhance media capacity and coverage on migration, especially, irregular migration so the media can authoritatively inform the public on these issues,” said Elegbede.
The Migrant Project is a social initiative that provides free and reliable information about the risks and realities of irregular migration, safe and legal alternatives to irregular migration as well as relevant migration news and policy updates.