Lebanese, Moroccan, Nigerien and Tunisian media strengthened in their coverage of migration issues during COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID 19 pandemic has hit hard in many countries where thousands of stateless people, migrants and displaced persons have found refuge. Often living in poor sanitary conditions, they are particularly exposed to a high risk of contamination and spread of COVID 19. Often working in low skilled jobs, they are further weakened by the economic crisis caused by the health crisis.
In order to enable media in these countries to investigate and inform about the reality of this unprecedented crisis affecting migrants, the Union de la Presse Francophone (UPF), with the support of UNESCO, launched in spring 2020 and for a period of one year, a skills-building programme for some fifteen media in Lebanon, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia. These training activities for journalists strengthen access to information, address the effectiveness of the responses and issues related to migration according to the principles of ethical journalism.
Several training workshops carried out by UPF have resulted in the production of about thirty reports (written press, radio, TV) broadcast in French or Arabic in the four countries covered by the project.
In addition to equipping them with techniques and skills in dealing with migration and health issues, the ultimate aim of these training courses is to raise awareness of the media about their own impact in providing solutions.
As a United Nations agency with a specific mandate to promote “the free flow of ideas by word and image”, UNESCO aims to foster the development of free, independent and pluralistic media. In this way, media development encourages freedom of expression and contributes to the strengthening of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the fight against poverty.