Reporter : UGONNA AGU
Media professionals have been urged to eliminate hate speech, provocative contents and other issues that portray migrants as criminals in their reportage.
A consultant trainer, Mr. Paul Nwankwo, made the call in Enugu at a two-day capacity building workshop for media organizations on Migration Reportage, organized by the Civil Society Network on Migration and Development, in collaboration with European Union and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Mr. Nwankwo, who noted that the media were vital in shaping public opinion on various issues, urged media professionals to shun negative stereotypes but highlight the benefits of migration instead of the challenges associated with it.
Declaring the event open, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Senator Basheer Mohammed, represented by the Zonal Director, South-East, Mrs. Jane Molekwu, maintained that migration could be beneficial to the country of origin and that of destination, but the media must properly understand and correctly report the issues associated with it.
In a welcome address, the Director, Civil Society Network on Migration and Development (CSOnetMADE), Dr. Emeka Obiezu, expressed regret that journalists, like other members of the society, had stereotyped migrants in the manner and language of their reportage.
He said the event was put together to teach those in attendance the right terminologies to enrich their reportage on migration issues.
Earlier, the Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration, Mr. Frantz Celestine, represented by Dr. Adebanke Ogun, noted that migration should be of benefit to all, including the migrants, their families, the countries of origin and destination.
She also decried the negative reportage linking asylum seekers to insecurity, socio- cultural and economic threats in various parts of the world.
Over twenty media professionals from the South-East Region, including some Radio Nigeria reporters and programmers, attended the workshop.